Moscow Criticizes Cheney’s Remarks in Tbilisi

U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney’s remarks in Tbilisi can only increase "the aggressive ambitions" of "the Saakashvili regime," a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on September 5.

"Remarks of this type, first of all voicing new promises about Tbilisi’s accelerated integration into NATO, only strengthen the sense of impunity of Mr. Saakashvili’s regime and its aggressive ambitions," Interfax quoted Andrey Nesterenko, a Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, as saying at a news conference in Moscow.

"Mr. Cheney has also spoken about a new aid package for Georgia – by the way, the worth of this aid actually amounts to Tbilisi’s defense budget," he added.

In July, Parliament approved an amendment to the 2008 state budget, which increased defense spending by GEL 295 million, bringing total funding of the Ministry of Defense to GEL 1.395 billion this year (about USD 980 million).

[Source: Civil Georgia, Tbilisi, 05Sep08]

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