The Russian-backed authorities of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia have slammed the ongoing NATO-Georgia Military Exercise 2019, held at the Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) in Krtsanisi, near Tbilisi.
In a statement on March 25, the Abkhaz ‘foreign ministry’ said the military exercise is “an open challenge to the national security of Abkhazia.” “We urge Tbilisi and Brussels to recognize the destructive nature of such explicit demonstration of military ambitions,” reads the statement.
Sokhumi also said “routine statements” of Georgia’s western partners “in support of their client state,” as well as their military support to Tbilisi, “give high expectations to Georgian leaders, fan militaristic sentiments and undermine efforts for ensuring peace and security in the Caucasus.”
Tskhinvali authorities commented on the matter on March 26, with their ‘foreign minister’ Dmitry Medoev saying “periodic re-emergence of Georgia’s possible NATO accession feeds the Georgian leadership’s revanchist desires and attempts for further ventures.”
“South Ossetia regards this as a continuation of the Alliance’s provocative policies, as it was Georgia’s possible membership to NATO that became one of the driving forces of the tragic events of August 2008,” Medoev noted.
He also said NATO Secretary General’s calls on the Russian Federation for withdrawing the two regions’ recognitions, are “long-known” and “unfortunate.” “This was a responsible political decision by the Russian Federation, and it has laid solid guarantees for the stability and security of the South Ossetian people,” he stressed.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited the military exercise on March 25.