Russia rejects Georgia's concerns over Black Sea drills

Moscow, April 2 : Moscow has dismissed Tbilisi's condemnation of Russian military drills in the Black Sea region.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that Russia's actions "are at odds with the interests of stability" in Europe and could be viewed as a "proportional reaction to possible threats".

On Monday, the Russian foreign ministry said Georgia's assertion was groundless and out of synch with its declared commitment to normalise its relationship with Russia.

Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich described Tbilisi's reaction as "the public inflation of a Russian threat to cover its own confrontational policy."

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the snap drills Thursday, as concerns persist over the combat readiness of the armed forces in Russia.

The Black Sea exercise, which ended Sunday, involved up to 7,000 military personnel, including rapid deployment, airborne and special task forces, more than 30 warships, about 250 armoured vehicles, up to 20 pieces of artillery and 20 aircraft.

Under international law, exercises of this size do not need to be announced to other countries in advance.

--IANS (Posted on 02-04-2013)

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