In response to Moscow's criticism, Tbilisi says Georgia can carry out exercises with any partner on its sovereign territory

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia issued a statement in response to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s comments on the joint Georgian-American exercise “Noble Partner 2016.” Moscow stated that Washington “appeases revanchist ambitions of Tbilisi.” The Georgian Foreign Ministry replied that Georgia is a sovereign and independent state and has a right to carry out training on its territory together with any partner.

“It is worth noting that the exercises are not aimed at any country. Such military exercises in Georgia were held last year. Through these exercises, Georgia strengthens its cooperation with partners in military training and education which is important for the strengthening of national defense.”

The Ministry also indicated in its statement that preserving stability in the region is Georgia’s primary interest. “We have repeatedly stated that we advocate the peaceful resolution of all conflicts both in Georgia and in the region.”

Earlier, on May 6th, the Russian Foreign Ministry commented on Noble Partner 2016. The comment stated that Moscow sees “such consistent ‘development’ of Georgian territory by NATO military as a provocative step aimed at destabilizing the political-military situation in the Transcaucasian region.”

“This is due in no small measure to Washington and its allies pandering to Tbilisi’s revanchist ambitions,” the statement of Russian Foreign Ministry read.

The first exercises under the Noble Partner program were held in Georgia in May 2015. According to the Georgian Ministry of Defense, further exercises will take place from May 11th to the 26th, which is Georgia’s Independence Day. 650 Americans, 150 British and 500 Georgian contract-servicemen for a total of 1,300 mobile unites will participate in the exercises.

Several American S-130 military transport aircraft, M1A2 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles will be used in the exercises.

  Russia, Georgia, US