Friday, January 29, 2010

Georgia Offers Arms Supply Route to Afghanistan

Georgia has offered to the United States to use its territory for armaments supply route to Afghanistan, President Saakashvili said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The proposal, which Saakashvili said was first presented to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden when the latter visited Georgia in July, 2009, offers use of Georgia’s Black Sea ports to the Alliance’s military supply ships, and its airports for refueling points.

The report also quotes U.S. Navy Capt. Kevin Aandahl, a spokesman for the U.S. Defence Department's Transportation Command, saying that DoD is aware of Georgia's proposal, but has not substantially explored it.

In March, 2005 Georgia and NATO signed an agreement envisaging use of Georgia’s air space, road and rail infrastructure for transit purposes by NATO to send supplies for its troops in Afghanistan. The route operating through Georgia, however, is not sanctioned for arms shipments.

“I don't think that Russia can openly object to this,” Saakashvili was quoted as saying in the interview.

“The best containment of Russia's adventures in this region is political,” he said. “I don't think the Americans have the resources to do it militarily, and I don't think this route can in any way even indirectly serve as military containment or deterrence.”

Georgia sent a company-size unit to Afghanistan to contribute NATO-led forces and in addition it plans to send a battalion-size force this spring.


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