A U.S. Navy ship yesterday escorted a coastal guard cutter into Georgia’s Black Sea port of Poti. Another cutter is due to be handed over shortly. The cutters are newly made in the United States for delivery to Georgia free of charge. Meanwhile Germany is about to transfer to Georgia, also free of charge, an escort warship. The ship’s Georgian crew currently undergoes training in Germany. These and other ships, handed over recently gratis by Ukraine (which inaugurated the trend), Turkey and Greece, should enable Georgia to take control of its Black Sea territorial waters, where Russian coastal guard forces currently hold sway.
In a related development, Georgia’s Defense Minister Vardiko Nadibaidze and the chief of staff of Turkey’s armed forces, General Ismail Hakki Karadai, signed on April 15 a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation. Supplementing earlier agreements, the document envisions training of Georgian military personnel in Turkey free of charge and a joint Turkish-Georgian exercise to be held this year. (Russian agencies, April 15 and 16)
Caspian Countries Ponder Russian Proposal on Limited Sectoral Division.