Moscow says NATO begins supplying new arms to Georgia

NATO countries are starting new arms deliveries to Georgia, the Russian foreign minister said Tuesday.

Sergei Lavrov accused those who were supporting the Georgian leadership, which started the hostilities in South Ossetia, of being "cynical and hypocritical."

"According to our information, they are even starting to supply new types of weapons, restoring the military infrastructure that was used in the aggression," he said.

Lavrov said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashivli had received promises that "NATO will defend him" and "rearm his regime."

Asked precisely which countries were currently rearming Georgia, the Russian minister said: "Virtually all states that are supplying arms to Georgia are NATO member countries."

He said Saakashvili's "foreign sponsors" had played an extremely "destructive" role in providing him with offensive weapons prior to the armed confrontation with Georgia's breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

He stressed that all such supplies were at odds with OSCE and EU rules and regulations.

"These weapons, which were supplied to Georgia both overtly and covertly, were eventually used against Russian citizens," Lavrov said.

He added that Russian warships would patrol the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, "as well as other parts of the world's oceans," on a regular basis.

[Source: Novosti, Bocharov Ruchei, Sochi, 26Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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