South Ossetians petition against rearming of Georgia
Residents of South Ossetia have petitioned US Senator Richard Lugar against resuming the supply of weapons to Georgia. The petitioners fear rearmament could increase the chance of another conflict.
“President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili has previously used weapons and military training provided by the US and other countries to attack the civilians of South Ossetia, including the attacks in August 2008,” the petition reads.
“The citizens of South Ossetia fear that President Saakashvili, given his recent recklessness and unpredictable behavior, may use any weapons or military training against us.”
The petitioners warn that rearming Georgia could further destabilize the situation in the region and result in an outbreak of another conflict, in which case the weaponry could be used against South Ossetians. They also call for Congress to investigate how $1 billion previously provided to the Georgian government was spent.
The petition comes as a response to the report prepared by senator Lugar and titled “Striking the Balance: US Policy and Stability in Georgia”. The report calls into question Washington’s decision to stop providing weapons to Georgia following the end of the war and claims that the current arms embargo undermines stability in the region.