Moscow / Tbilisi – Russia has raised strong objections over the US-NATO war exercises undergoing in Georgia saying, ‘Not helicopters and tanks, but constructive discussions are necessary for peace and stability”. The ‘Noble Partner 2018’ war exercise was initiated in Georgia from the 1st of August with the participation of more than 3,000 soldiers from 13 countries including the United States, Georgia, etc. The exercises are being held near ‘South Ossetia’, a restive region in Georgia known to be pro-Russia. Georgia has said that the exercises are for regional safety.
It was only last month that the Russian President Vladimir Putin had lashed out at NATO. He had warned that Russia would challenge the expansionist intentions of NATO in its neighbouring countries of Ukraine and Georgia. Following this, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had warned that Russian leadership was fully aware of the anti-Russian activities being carried out by the United States and the Western countries. Therefore, these war exercises being conducted on such a large scale are considered to be an attempt to challenge Russia.
The war exercises lasting for two weeks from the 1st to 15th of August have been organised in the ‘Vaziani Airfield’ and ‘Camp Norio Training Site’. 1,300 soldiers from Georgia and 1,170 soldiers from the United States are participating in the exercises, in addition, to more than 500 soldiers from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.
The ‘Bradley Fighting Vehicle’ and ‘Abrams’ tanks are participating in the exercises along with the ‘Black Hawk’ and ‘Apache’ helicopters from the United States. This is the fourth year of the ‘Noble Partner’ exercise. NATO has also organised the ‘Agile Spirit’ exercises in the next month.
Russia has expressed severe displeasure over the NATO exercises and has said that these exercises are a part of the tactics to pressurise Russia.