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24 Dec, 2009 06:17

Republican Senator urges US to rearm Georgia to stabilize Caucasus

US Republican Senator Richard Lugar has urged the US and its European allies to re-arm Georgia after its military infrastructure suffered a blow during last year's war with South Ossetia.

The US has already given Georgia one billion dollars following the conflict, but has refrained from sending military aid.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Georgia is building up its military potential and, according to some estimates, has reached a higher level than before the war.

Georgia attacked South Ossetia in August 2008. The Russian army stepped in to repel the aggression.

Senator Richard Lugar is a Republican lawmaker who has long worked on Russia-US co-operation. Lugar has been a principal ally for President Barack Obama in his pursuit of an arms control deal with Russia aimed at improving relations with Moscow.

Lugar’s intention is also to win essential Republican votes to ratify the new START treaty once it is completed.

A report released Tuesday urges the administration to coordinate a strategy within NATO that strikes a balance between Georgia's security needs and relations with Russia.