: Russia slams NATO-Georgia military drills

12:17 May. 7, 2016

Russia slams NATO-Georgia military drills

U.S. and Georgian servicemen, with Georgian and U.S. flags in front, take part in the joint U.S.-Georgia military exercise at the Vaziani base outside the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Georgia, May 21, 2015. (AP Photo)

U.S. deploys tanks and armoured vehicles in the Black Sea country for upcoming exercises

Russia's Foreign Ministry has said Noble Partner 2016 U.S.-Georgia military exercises may escalate the military and political situation in the Caucasus region. 

"We regard this ongoing 'exploration' of Georgia's territory by NATO forces as a provocative step aimed at escalating the military and political situation in the South Caucasus," the Ministry's statement reads.

Read also NATO and Georgia work closely on protecting the Black Sea region

On May 5, the U.S. Army deployed Abrams battle tanks in Georgia, offloading the heavy armor at the Black Sea port of Poti for military training exercises with forces from Georgia and the United Kingdom, RFE/RL reported. The deployment also included Bradley armored personnel carriers and support vehicles shipped across the Black Sea from NATO-member Bulgaria.

The army drills are expected to take plane on May 11-26. The aim of the exercises is to increase the ability of Georgian forces to work as part of a NATO response force.

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