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US Secretary of Defence on weapons supplies to Georgia

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, September 16
Every sovereign country has the right to provide for its own defense, US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates said in an interview to Interfax news agency ahead of the negotiations with the Russian Defence Anatoly Serdyukov. He was answering the question of the Russian journalist about the future of weapons supplies to Georgia and whether the US will continue to provide weapons to this country.

“What I would say is, first of all, every sovereign country has the right to provide for its own defense. We have been, I think, careful in what we have provided to Georgia,” Gates said in response “We also are interested in providing Georgia with the means by which they can help us in Afghanistan, and so a good part of the training and other things that we‘re doing with the Georgians are because they have been so willing to make a contribution of considerable importance to our efforts in Afghanistan,” he added.

Commenting on Russian-US relations, Gates said that currently he does not see Russia as a threat. “I see Russian-U.S. relations being those of normal states now. We‘re partners in some areas and competitors in others. But on important things, we are cooperating,” Interfax quoted Gates as saying “In the effort to deal with terrorists, we are cooperating. In the effort to deal with the Iranian nuclear program, we‘re cooperating as was made evident in the UN Security Council resolution. We‘re working together on other issues such as counter-piracy, so there are a number of areas where we are in cooperation,” the US Secretary of Defence stated in the interview.