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DM: Moscow concerned over Georgia's growing military potential
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11:29, November 19, 2008

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Visiting Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov said here on Tuesday the Georgian government's efforts to enhance its military potential and to further approach NATO arouses Russian concern, semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

"We believe that such initiatives will give rise to greater consequences than the incidents that took place last August," said the report, quoting Serdyukov as saying during a press conference following a tete-a-tete meeting with his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul.

Referring to the "Caucasus Stability Platform" suggested by Turkey, Serdyukov said that Russia appreciates the initiative.

"We share the same view with Turkey on the territorial integrity of Georgia. However, Georgia's efforts to boost its military potential causes great concern, as well as its efforts to get closer to NATO", said Serdyukov.

Meanwhile, the defense minister stressed that Russia was trying to develop cooperation with NATO, saying that "we expect dialog to be resumed in this field and we want to promote dialog in all fields."

In addition, he said that Russia supports Turkey's efforts in the Black Sea region to establish security. "We support Turkey's efforts to bring together the high level military officials of Black Sea countries," Serdyukov said.

Gonul, for his part, attached great importance to his meeting with Serdyukov, saying that the meeting was an important step in promoting relations between the Turkish and Russian defense ministries.

"We wish to work with Russians in various projects. We hope that our successful projects will continue in both military and defense industries," said Gonul.

Serdyukov arrived in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Tuesday on an official two-day trip.


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