Russia's General Staff suspects Georgia planning new attack
MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's General Staff suspects Georgia of planning new military action, despite being incapable of any aggression at the current time, a senior Russian military official said on Wednesday.
Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said that unnamed third countries were continuing to help Georgia rebuild its military potential.
"As for weapons they are indeed being supplied, and financing is underway...Georgia has funds to develop its armed forces," he said, adding that "unfortunately, Georgia is restoring its military potential at a fast rate."
Nogovitsyn described Russia's key task as preventing a new conflict.
"Today, we are trying to prevent a new conflict and will do everything possible to stop it taking place. This is our key task now," he said.
According to Nogovitsyn, Russia has no plans to reinforce its military presence in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moscow recognized the independence of the two former Georgian republics soon after last August's war with Georgia over South Ossetia.
"We do not see any need for increasing the operating contingent," he said.
Looking back at the conflict ahead of the first anniversary this Saturday in which 64 Russian soldiers, including 15 peacekeepers, were killed, Nogovitsyn said Georgian planes camouflaged with Russian insignia had attacked refugees.
"It has been established that Georgia twice used Russian aircraft insignia on its Su-25(Frogfoot) planes: on August 8 when it bombed a column of vehicles carrying refugees from Tskhinvali [South Ossetia's capital],... and on August 9 [when it attacked] a column of Russian troops moving along the Dzara road [from Tskhinvali]," the military official said.
He said the evidence had been submitted to the international community and Moscow was still waiting for the European Union to suggest a punishment for Georgia.
"What is most depressing is those countries that with the help of the EU mission have received a comprehensive report that Georgia and the Georgian leadership was the aggressor and should be punished, have yet to react," the military official said.
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