Georgia and Germany have concluded an agreement on training 15 Georgian officers annually in German military schools. The German-funded program is supplemented by one for teaching the German language at the Georgian military academy. (Iprinda, September 7). Last week the Georgian parliament ratified a recent Georgian-Turkish military cooperation agreement, which covers some types of joint exercises, mutual deliveries of military supplies, and a military-industrial program. Specifics are not yet available. (BGI, September 4). Also last week, Georgian generals discussed a more ample program of military cooperation with Ukrainian leaders and the Defense Ministry in Kiev. (See Monitor, September 4)
The agreements testify to a growing effort by President Eduard Shevardnadze to limit Russia’s leverage as virtually sole supplier of armament and military assistance to Georgia. Moscow expects to cash in by obtaining military basing rights in Georgia. Shevardnadze does hold out that prospect in the hope of inducing Moscow to be cooperative on Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But he also seeks some counterleverage by developing alternative military contacts to limit Moscow’s role as military supplier to Georgia. (See also CIS section above)
Armenian Opposition Unites Behind Presidential Candidate.