Georgia once more expresses concern about a military exercise Russia plans to conduct on Georgia’s occupied territories. Russia regularly holds exercises in the North Caucasus, but this year’s Kavkaz 2012 will for the first time include Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway republics currently occupied by Russia. Georgia has informed international organizations about the plans, and considers it a source of concern that the exercise is planned for September, just one month before the parliamentary elections in Georgia. “It won’t be coincidental if our neighbor decides to start a large military exercise in the second part of September, a few days before the election. Aside from this, it will use all possible means to discredit these elections, frighten Georgians through the use of force on one hand, and on the other hand buy Georgian voters by the money flow from that country,” Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili said while meeting with a delegation from the European People’s Party.
Giga Bokeria, Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia, considers Kavkaz 2012 concerning in regards of time scale, goals, preparing a reaction for the Iran problem and the fact that the exercise is to be held at Russian military bases in Georgia’s occupied regions. He said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy that he hopes that the international situation and other conditions will prevent this potential decision from being implemented. The Georgian official doesn’t exclude the possibility of another war between Russia and Georgia. He says there is desire in Russia to finish what started in 2008.