NATO is beginning its large-scale military drills in Georgia today, May 6. A diplomatic scandal broke out between Russia and NATO shortly before the start of the drills. NATO expelled two Russian envoys from the headquarters of the alliance in Brussels on May 2. Official spokespeople for the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Belgium stated May 5 that the two Russian diplomats must leave the territory of the country. Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, stated that the meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia and NATO members, which was slated to take place in May, would be delayed because of the decision.
In the meantime, the military command of a tank battalion in Georgia declared its insubordination to authorities. Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili arrived at the army base in Mukhrovani and soon announced that the mutiny had been suppressed. Saakashvili did not miss a chance to accuse Russia of plotting the mutiny although he did not give any evidence to prove that.
Pravda.ru interviewed Deputy Prime Minister of South Ossetia, Inal Pliyev, regarding the latest events in Georgia.
“What do you think of NATO’s current military drills in Georgia?”
“This step is being deliberately made to destabilize the situation in the Caucasus. Last year, Georgia attacked South Ossetia after similar military exercises had taken place in the country. A part of NATO’s military hardware, which was delivered for the drills, was left in Georgia.
“NATO intends to demonstrate its support to Georgia pushing it towards aggressive actions against Russia. Georgia tries to intimidate South Ossetia and Abkhazia too. NATO did not cancel the drills in Georgia to show everyone that it could rebel against Russia.
“Seven countries, including Kazakhstan, Armenia, Moldavia and Serbia, refused to take part in the drills after Russia set out its negative attitude to them. It means that Russia’s opinion is much more important to those countries than NATO’s opinion. Even Estonia and Latvia will not send their military men to the region.”
“What was the reason of the scandal with Russian diplomats?”
“Brussels was guided by its personal vengeance on Russia’s Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin, who professionally and decisively defends Russia’s interests.”
“Why does NATO need the scandal, what for?”
“To justify its existence. More and more people in NATO member countries ask themselves what the point of the organization is, why it exists. Why would a German citizen pay taxes to maintain a whole army of idling generals and bureaucrats? No one is going to attack Germany in the foreseeable future.
“It is only the countries of the former socialist camp that are thrilled to become NATO members. They see the alliance as a source of income and a way to settle their scores with Russia. However, the rearmament of the army on NATO’s pattern is very cost-intensive. They will also have to send troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. I do not think that the Poles and the Czechs would be happy to do it.
“NATO is concerned about its own future. It needs to prove its usefulness to the general public. The organization may collapse, which pushes anti-Russian neo-conservatives in the NATO administration towards taking desperate measures to launch a global military and political crisis.”
“Why was there a need to hold the military drills now?”
“NATO, just like Georgia, is in dire need of a war right now. A war will distract people’s attention from internal contradictions within the artificial formation of the old days.
“Georgia is formally not a NATO member, but the alliance virtually uses the country at its own discretion, just like it does with its other members. The military drills in Georgia demonstrate the support to the Georgian President, the dictator, I would say.
“Mikhail Saakashvili is a sick individual, who is gripped with panic and hysterics now. He is capable of doing anything using his 30,000-strong army.”
“What could be the outcome of the drills?
“NATO’s steps in Georgia are doomed. They can only unleash a new conflict which would lead to new victims. NATO’s any success in the Caucasus is temporal. Georgia is not a reliable country . The recent mutiny can only prove it.
“The fact that several countries declined their participation in the drills means that NATO is incapable of going against Russia without causing damage to its reputation. The influence of the alliance has been decreasing, and it may lead to its collapse.”
Inal Pliyev was interviewed by Sergei Balmasov