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Croatian officers to join NATO exercises in Georgia
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09:12, May 06, 2009

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Croatian army officers would take part in NATO military exercises which are scheduled to begin in Georgia on Wednesday and last until June 1, the Croatian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

A Croatian team of three officers would travel to Georgia on Wednesday and stay there until May 21, while another nine officers will take part in the second part of the exercises between May 18 and early June, said a statement released by the Defense Ministry.

Croatia joined NATO as a formal member state on April 1 this year together with fellow Balkan country Albania.

Some 1,300 soldiers from 19 NATO member states and partner nations are previously scheduled to attend the NATO exercises, which are part of NATO's Partnership for Peace Program. But Armenia, Kazakhstan and Serbia has decided to pull out of the exercises because of Russia's serious concern.

Russia has condemned the exercises as an attempt of NATO "muscle-flexing," coming nine months after a brief war between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.


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