US military instructors have finished training 550 Georgian commando units. A special ceremony was organised in Tbilisi on August 30 to mark the successful graduation of Georgian troops.
At the ceremony Mr Shevardnadze said 'Georgian forces are now approaching NATO standards.' He urged Georgian soldiers not to forget which country they live in and assured them that the problems in Abkhazia and Samachablo (South Ossetia) are soluble. Three military helicopters, donated by the US, completed demonstration flights over Tbilisi on the same day.
The US is providing military assistance to Georgia in the form of training and equipment, which has already cost the US government about USD 70 million. US instructors have already trained three battalions of commando units, a total of 1750 people.