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Defense Ministry denies any weapons agreement with France

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, March 31
Minister of Defense Mindia Janelidze dismisses the accusations of his predecessor Irakli Alasania in connection with signing an air defense document with France while Alasania’s was minister.

Janelidze claims that no such document has been signed, and stressed that speculating over confidential issues was not an acceptable practice.

“We have a lot of challenges in the field of defense and security, and every extra word, especially open and public discussions in terms of classified issues, threatens our country's security,” stated Janelidze.

The minister stressed that talks on defense-related issues are ongoing.

All steps necessary for improving our country's stability have already been taken,” said Janelidze.

A couple of days ago, Alasania said that he signed an agreement on the purchase of defensive weapons from France when he chaired the ministry.

He stressed that the agreement’s terms expire on March 31, 2015.

He claimed that the government of Georgia wanted to disrupt the talks and then the current Defense Minister Janelidze phoned him telling him not to sign the memorandum.

Foreign Ministry representative Davit Kereselidze stated that his ministry was not involved in the process of negotiations.

“Talks between Georgia and France regarding this issue are underway. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not involved in the process, since this is not our competence or our prerogative,” stated Kereselidze.

Several days ago Prime Minister (PM) Irakli Gharibashvili called Alasania’s statements unethical, and added that courageous men should not be busy with speculating about classified cases.

Alasania responded to Gharibashvilis statement and said that the PM is unaware of what “courage’’ means.

“The Prime Minister is not aware of what courage or speculation means. I would like to explain one thing to the PM – hampering the transfer of defense equipment causes national harm. The issue is of course, of national importance. I will not talk about the technical details, but it is a fact that the decision-making process was hampered. He will be held accountable for that in the future,” Alsania said.