Russia denies military training aimed against Georgia

Russia categorically denied on Thursday that its wide range air military maneuvers are targeting Georgia.

The attempts by Georgian media and the West to portray such military training as preparation for war against Georgia is not rational, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told reporters.

Nesterenko added such maneuvers are to increase combat readiness of Russian forces, thus ensuring the stability of the region.

Last night, Georgia’s Interior Ministry accused Russia of increasing the number of reconnaissance missions conducted by spy drones over its territory.

“Russia has increased the number of flights by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) over the territory controlled by Georgia for reconnaissance purposes,” the ministry said in a statement.

At the same time, the ministry dismissed counter claims that Georgia had resumed reconnaissance flights over Abkhazia.

United Nations military observers stopped work in the region on June 16 when Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution to extend its mandate, and the monitors are due to leave by July 15.

Last week, the Russian military conducted similar training under the slogan Caucus 2009, which was held jointly with Abkhazian and South Ossetia forces.

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