The opening of a NATO-Georgia training center in Tbilisi is a logical step in bolstering security, Frederick Benjamin (Ben) Hodges, Commanding General of United States Army Europe (USAREUR), said in a program aired by the Rustavi-2 television channel.
The general said the center was not targeted against third parties but aimed at helping Georgian security forces to protect their country. The general does not think the center can cause destabilization of any kind.
Instead, he accused Russia of holding a policy of regional destabilization. Russia speaking of its neighbors as some backyard, i.e. spheres of influence, is the source of destabilization, the general said. In the 21st century independent democratic countries have the right to make independent decisions on their security and their future, the general said.
He noted that Georgia possessed every instrument it needed to become a NATO member.
Hodges is paying an official visit to Georgia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that Russia viewed the opening of a NATO-Georgian training center in Georgia as another provocative step of the alliance aimed at destabilizing the region.
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