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The News in Brief

Thursday, November 30
Russian Deputy FM Warns of Regional Arms Race After Javelin Sale to Georgia

(MOSCOW) – Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin warned of a possible arms race in the Caucasus if Western governments press forward with further military assistance to Georgia.

“This directly encourages Tbilisi to engage in new dangerous adventures in the region,” Karasin told the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on Tuesday.

Russia’s warning came just over a week after the US State Department approved a $75-million sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Georgia.

According to the Russian defense ministry, Moscow publicly expressed their anger at the deepening military cooperation between Tbilisi and NATO member states, claiming the Western alliance no longer was interested in training Georgian service members to be peacekeepers, but will now training regular combat units.

“Washington plans to help Georgia build another combat training center in the country,” Karasin was quoted as saying.

Russia’s objections to Georgia’s increased cooperation with NATO and EU member states have done little to sway Tbilisi, Washington or Brussels from halting their initiatives. The Kremlin strongly objects to any moves by European or American institutions that brings Georgia closer to full integration with the West.

More than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow continues to maintain a massive presence in the region, stationing tens of thousands of troops in Armenia and in occupation forces in Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Kremlin provides millions of dollars of annual military and financial aid to their secessionist proxies in both regions and remains Yerevan’s closest strategic ally.

Under the State Department-endorsed deal, Georgia is to purchase 410 Javelin Missiles, and 72 Javelin Command Launch Units, as well as the elements of logistics and program support.

Georgian officials have taken great pains to stress that the weapons will only be used for defensive purposes. (

Georgia’s Ancient Wine Culture Listed in Guinness Book of World Records

(LONDON) – Georgia’s 8,000-year wine making culture is the newest entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The entry comes only weeks after archeologists found pottery fragments with the earliest-known evidence of wine-making at a site outside the Georgian capital Tbilisi. (