Moscow Against NATO-Georgia Drills
Russia calls on NATO to cancel or at least postpone its scheduled military exercises in Georgia (6:01):
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said on Thursday that the exercises were “unlikely to send the right signal to those sincerely wishing to achieve stability in the Caucasus”.
A spokesman from Russia’s Nato mission said the planned exercises “can only complicate a situation in the region which is not simple to start with”.
Relations between the Kremlin and Nato deteriorated after Russia’s war with Georgia in August last year, with the military alliance describing Moscow’s actions at the time as “disproportionate”.
Russia is also opposed to plans by Nato to help Georgia and Ukraine gain membership to the military alliance.
Last month, Nato agreed to resume high-level contacts with Russia, six months after the military alliance had frozen contacts with Moscow over the conflict.
Lavrov also warned Nato members on Thursday not to co-operate with the government of Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia’s president, who is regarded with great suspicion by Russia.
He said: “I hope that the Nato countries will shun steps planned for future cooperation with Georgia … that could again push the Georgian regime towards an attitude of permissiveness and impunity.”
Georgian opposition parties will form unarmed peoples militia units to provide security for those who participate in civil protests. Some 20 opposition members have been attacked since the beginning of protests (3:07):