Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze said a Russian troop increase in South Ossetia was “a provocation,” adding that Russia wanted to destabilize Georgia so as to hamper economic development and investment.
Georgia claimed on October 23 that Russia had increased its military presence in the breakaway region by 2,000 troops in the previous week, brining the total number to 7,000. Russia denied the report, saying it was deliberate disinformation.
“It is absolutely clear that they have been brought for provocative purposes,” Vashadze told journalists on October 23. “Russia has a single goal – to maintain instability in Georgia as long as possible. You know that not only military force is a weapon for Russia, but the same can be said about instability that will ensure that the Georgian economy receives as little investments as possible.”
Vashadze also said that the Georgian side had informed international organizations of the troop increase.
The Georgian deputy foreign minister also commented on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement, in which he accused Georgia of violating the ceasefire agreement and deploying special purpose units near the administrative borders with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“Georgian troops remain at the places of their permanent locations – in Senaki and Gori. As far as special troops are concerned, you know that the EU monitors are stationed there, who observe violations from time to time. But no violations by the Georgian side have ever been observed,” Vashadze said.