A top Russian diplomat says the United States is quietly rearming the
Georgian military, and he warns the U.S. move will force Moscow to
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin leveled the
accusation Wednesday in Moscow. He did not describe the weapons, nor
indicate what form Russia's response would take.
A top Russian
general says Moscow is not planning any offensive in the Caucasus as
the anniversary of last year's brief war with Georgia approaches on
Friday. However, General Anatoly Nogovitsin says Russia's armed
forces are alarmed by Georgia's military buildup.
Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow told a U.S. Senate
panel Tuesday that U.S. resources are currently aimed at training
Georgian forces. But he said other forms of help could be offered in
Tuesday, President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev spoke by telephone about reducing tensions in Georgia.
Vice President Joe Biden also telephoned Georgian President Mikheil
Saakashvili. Biden stressed the need to avoid actions that could
further destabilize the region.
Moscow has warned it will use
"all available force" to protect the pro-Russian populations of South
Ossetia and a second breakaway territory, Abkhazia.
President Saakashvili told the Reuters news agency Sunday that he knows
Georgia can not use the military to retake control of South Ossetia or
Russian forces swept into Georgia August 7, 2008,
following Georgian attempts to regain control of breakaway South
Ossetia by force. Georgia said it only shelled South Ossetian targets
after Russian forces invaded.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov Wednesday called the war an "unforgiveable adventure" launched
by Mr. Saakashvili. He told Russian television hundreds of lives were
lost in the conflict, which he described as a tragedy for the Georgian
Moscow later recognized both territories as independent countries, despite strong protests from Western governments.