Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

NATO attempts to clutch its claws on Russia’s throat

NATO will hold large-scale military drills from May 6 to June 1 at Vaziani army base in Georgia. It is supposed to be the UN-authorized operation to regulate a crisis in a fictitious country. The imaginary enemy has not been identified, although it seems that the drills are held against Russia. Furthermore, the drills may push the Georgian administration towards taking real actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

NATO tries to justify its existence at all costs. The major enemy of the alliance – the USSR – does not exist anymore, whereas the international terrorism is an extremely abstract term. When Georgia suffered a defeat in the war against South Ossetia in August 2008, many Western leaders decided that the alliance was supposed to defend Russia’s neighbors against the country’s 'imperial ambitions.'

NATO will hold its Cooperative Longbow/Lancer-09 military exercise at Georgia’s Vaziani base. Up to 1,300 servicemen representing the armed forces of the alliance and its partners, including Georgia itself, as well as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldavia and Ukraine, will participate in the event.

The UN-approved operation will be held to regulate a crisis in a fictitious country. An international brigade set up under NATO’s aegis will establish law and order in this country with the help of computer models.

The second stage of the drills – Cooperative Lancer – will be held in the form of battalion exercises. Servicemen will practice various scenarios of peacemaking operations under field conditions.

The drills are based on a fictitious crisis regulation operation, which NATO conducts under the UN mandate. However, the political constituent of the drills must identify the culprit of the crisis and the UN’s reaction to it. This information has not been provided. Russia is the closest country to the location of the military exercise. Therefore, Russia automatically becomes responsible for the fictitious crisis.

It seems that the organizers of the drills have only one goal - to demonstrate their power near Russia's borders. The US simply aims to act as a peacemaker in the country, where Russia supposedly committed an act of aggression against Georgia. Someone in Washington wants to have the USA and NATO allies involved in the Caucasian conflict to avoid the label of the aggressor thereby.

The drills can also be a cover for Georgia ’s new aggressive actions against Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that NATO’s military drills in Georgia will complicate Georgia’s relations with Russia and will not contribute to the restoration of Russia ’s cooperation with the alliance.

“I think that it is a dangerous and incorrect decision. Such decisions are disappointing and they will not promote the restoration of contacts between Russia and NATO,” he said.

Medvedev promised that he would follow the situation in Georgia closely and would make decisions depending on how the situation unfolds.

“When a military bloc holds military drills in a troubled location, it may lead to various complications,” Medvedev said.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia would not send its observers to Georgia for the time of the NATO drills. The Georgian administration was taking efforts to exacerbate the situation in the region contrary to the pact signed by Presidents Sarkozy and Medvedev in the fall of 2008, the minister said. Lavrov also pointed out that the West was still delivering military hardware to Georgia.

The fact that the drills are held in Georgia means that the West supports the Georgian administration, which is capable of going on another “adventure” with NATO’s help.

Vladimir Anokhin

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