Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Statement by the Ministry of Defence of Georgia

On September 6 the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an article by Nikolas Busse titled “Soviet war of movement in Georgia” (Sowjetischer Bewegungskrieg in Georgien).

The article claims that representatives of the Georgian General Staff have briefed NATO headquarters in Brussels about the war, and says: “The representatives of the Georgian Forces have reported to the allies that they were against a military attack on South Ossetia.” It adds: “diplomats at NATO say that the statements of the General Staff could be an attempt to wash itself clean and put the blame about the lost war to Saakashvili”.

The Ministry of Defence of Georgia hereby states that no representative of the Georgian General Staff have ever given NATO such a briefing. The General Staff of Georgia is under the civilian control of the democratically elected Government of Georgia, an arrangement whose effectiveness has been praised by numerous NATO assessment teams commenting on the success of the democratic reforms of Georgia’s military forces.

The position of the Georgian Government on the events leading to the War and explanations why and when decisions by the Government were taken can be found in the Government document Timeline of Russian Aggression in Georgia. This document has been distributed to all NATO capitals and to NATO headquarters days before the FAZ article was published. It is self-evident that this is also the position of the Georgian Ministry of Defence and its General Staff.
We are not aware of any briefings given by anyone formally connected with the Armed Forces of Georgia. Therefore, we hereby request that the NATO press office publicly respond to the false claims disseminated by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.