reede, september 29, 2006

Did Mart Laar Sell Guns to Georgia?

Things are heating up over in Georgia. It's hard to know when the Russians are playing hardball and when they are just screwing around with their neighbors. It's also difficult to fully grasp the issues the Georgians are addressing - Georgia is a little known entity in the US and Europe. We have a hard enough time finding Estonia on the map, let alone South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov on Friday accused Georgia of seeking a military solution to end frozen conflicts in its breakaway provinces of Abkhazia aand South Ossetia.

Ivanov also said several new members of NATO were fueling current tensions by supplying Soviet-bought arms to the Georgian government.


Remember to take this all in the context of possible NATO expansion to Georgia and the big meeting in Latvia in November. Also, I have heard that Ivanov is a contender for the Russian presidency in 2008. Funny how he is the one doing most of the talking here.

But don't worry, there's more, lots more:

The Russian defence chief also lashed out at the "younger generation" of NATO nations which he said were delivering Soviet-era weapons to Tblisi.

Some new NATO nations had violated an international system of end-user certificates by supplying old Soviet-produced arms and ammunitions to Georgia, he said.

These young NATO nations were in breach of "world practice" on arms deliveries, said Ivanov, adding that "serious members of NATO" agreed with his analysis.

Ivanov refused to name the countries involved in the arms trade, saying people could "come to their own conclusion."


Hmm. Former communist country, new to NATO, selling arms to Georgia, who could it be???

Mart Laar, 45, a former Estonian prime minister credited with turning around his country's fortunes after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has been working since May this year as a special adviser to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Laar was hired for a year to coordinate economic reforms and offer wider transition advice.


It seems almost too perfect to put Laar, guns, and Gruusia together, though. I also wonder if Estonia a) has the leftover Soviet weaponry to sell, b) has the capacity to transport arms shipments to Georgia in the first place, c) sees it in its interest to sell off its own vital military resources when it has so little to begin with.

Given that Russia enjoys singling out the Baltics as the archvillains of the universe, something tells me that the arms didn't come out of Tallinn or Riga, and came from a more sensitive and formidable new NATO member, perhaps Poland or Hungary. Russia wouldn't be able to resist publicly shaming Estonia.

I'd place my bets on whomever has the secret CIA prisons in Europe. Because whoever had the resources to transport people to and from southwest Asia, certainly has the ability to transport weaponry.

11 kommentaari:

cbr ütles ...

Well, our Defence Forces have given away thousands of AK47's to Iraqi Defence Forces and are planning on doing the same with Afghanistan. This time they'd be giving 4000 AK47 assault rifles to Afghanistan's government forces. It's because those guns don't have a NATO caliber and are expensive to maintain etc.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

Estonia has not received any USSR weapons from USSR or Russia. Therefore even if it has such weapons there's no Russian claims possible over those assets.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

So, military experts are needed. What about 15 years old soviet weapons to sell. Do you want to cheat your client or is it still worse to buy?

Giustino ütles ...

This time they'd be giving 4000 AK47 assault rifles to Afghanistan's government forces. It's because those guns don't have a NATO caliber and are expensive to maintain etc.

They better be getting guns back from NATO. I wouldn't like to see Estonia get caught with its pants down like last time (1940).

And what's the Finns defense plan should some dark battle in the future threaten their independence? Why are they not part of the longterm "reclaiming the Russian empire" plan and Estonia is? What's their secret?

Besides that, what's up with Savisaar? Doesn't he strike you as excessively bitter these days? He should take a trip to the Canary Islands or something.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Anything the Russian Defence Minister says I would take with a grain of salt (or even a whole salt shaker), especially when it comes to formerly occupied countries. Most likely this is just another attempt by the Russian to cause problems with one or more countries.

If Laar was selling weapons he'd have to be doing it with the presidents and prime minister's knowledge since he is just a lowly MP right now and has no power himself. On top of that I doubt Eesti has the capacity to ship weapons, they barely have the ability to protect their airspace or coast line let alone transfer weapons across the world.

As for Savisaar, he's just a sore loser and sad that there is one less old commie in power that he can order around.

plasma-jack ütles ...

They better be getting guns back from NATO. I wouldn't like to see Estonia get caught with its pants down like last time (1940).

As I understand, the weapons sent to Iraq were old Kalashnikovs from Romanian and Chinese origin. Our troops use Galils bought from Israel, also Ak4-s given by Sweden and M14-s given by United States. Even Estonians are not that stupid to kindly give away old weapons when not already possessing nicer ones :-p

oliver ütles ...

Actually... Georgia has received weapons from Estonia... 7 Galils, one light machine gun Negev and one "bazooka". All Israeli though. And you even can't kill anyone with them - they're all pneumantic, only shoot out compressed air. Part of the combat simulator... mm thingy built by an Estonian company. A gift from the Estonian Defence Forces two weeks ago (worth almost 2 million EEK) We also gave them one fully equipped computer class back in 2003(4?)
And Latvians gave them hundreds of walkie-talkies and radio stations (not sure of their origin)
But I'm sure Russian Defence Minister know better...

Giustino ütles ...

If Laar was selling weapons he'd have to be doing it with the presidents and prime minister's knowledge since he is just a lowly MP right now and has no power himself.

Was Meri informed of the deal with Israel back in the early 90s? You know, the $49 million deal?

plasma-jack ütles ...
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Leroy Trotsky ütles ...

What is the point of the item? To speculate, seeing as the "feature" seems to be purely rhetorical? Is it an accusation? Does it perhaps serve the interests of a neighbor country of Estonia? Are you a friend of Estonia at all, or do you just live in Estonia? Is there something a priori wrong with providing Georgia with the means by which she can defend herself? Georgia's tormentor Russia ("the Upper Volta with nuclear bombs") makes just about as much money selling weapons all over the world as it does from merchandizing its raw materials.