'Georgia plans provocations against NATO'
“I’m sure provocations have been planned,” Dmitry Rogozin told Ekho Moskvy radio station. “And then they will be pointing fingers at Russia, claiming that we have organized that.”
The official warned the alliance: “So we are telling NATO – look, if you do take part in these war games despite our warning, you’ll bear full responsibility for the security of your forces. If anything happens to them, remember that we told you that.”
According to Rogozin, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili “has long been aiming to bring Georgia’s domestic conflict to the international level."
“It’s for this reason that he shot down our military – to draw us into the August war. It’s for this reason that he wanted American marines to come to Georgia, to draw Americans into that war. This man is dangerous for the world,” Rogozin said.
Earlier, Russia’s envoy to NATO stated that Moscow views these military exercises as a provocation, and that a planned meeting between Russian and NATO top military officials in early May will not happen unless the alliance cancels the war games.
In an interview with the Vesti television channel, Rogozin said that these exercises will not help Georgia's military potential as “nothing can help Georgia under Saakashvili's rule."
Russia and NATO cut off ties last year, following the war in South Ossetia. Formal relations have recently been restored, although disagreements linger.
Russia is vexed at the alliance's openness to admitting Georgia as a member. Moscow claims the move could provoke new unrest.