U.S. Official: ‘We have No Arms Embargo on Georgia’

Rep. Robert Aderholt, Georgia

From Civil Georgia:   A senior U.S. diplomat has strongly denied any assumption that Washington had arms embargo on Georgia, but also said on June 29 that arms sale was not a solution to Georgia’s problems.

“Let me first clarify that we don’t have an arms embargo on Georgia,” said Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, who briefed reporters in Washington about upcoming trip of the U.S. Secretary State to Eastern Europe.

“We are pursuing security cooperation with Georgia. Georgia is making a very significant contribution in Afghanistan, which we value… and we are helping them with training for that mission. …

“We don’t think that arms sales and military equipment is the path to the situation in Georgia that we’re trying to get to,” Gordon said. …

On June 28, the Jane’s Defence Weekly (JDW) reported citing Georgian officials, as well as representatives of US and Israeli companies present at Eurosatory defence exhibition in Paris in mid-June, that after the August, 2008 war Georgia was not able to buy defense equipment, on the one hand because of the U.S. policies and on the other hand because of Russia’s pressure.

Citing senior Georgian defense ministry official JDW reported that Georgia was in need of over-the-horizon radars that can give an advance warning of any Russian movement, man-portable anti-tank weapons and more current-day communication systems. “However, none of these systems have been made available for the Georgians to purchase, according to US and NATO personnel based in Tbilisi,” Jane’s Defense Weekly reported.  (photo: AP)

Image: ap%206%2030%2010%20%20Robert%20Aderholt%20Mikhail%20Saakashvili%20%20Ben%20Cardin.jpg