Georgia’s Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli to Sign another Deal with France

Tinatin Khidasheli, Georgia’s Minister of Defense is paying an official visit to France today. In the frames of her visit, the Georgian Minister will sign an agreement which presumably concerns defensive arms purchase.

On June 15, Georgia signed another agreement with Paris on procurement of an advanced system that will guarantee the country’s air defense. Concrete information about these two agreements is not known to the public. Citing confidentiality of security related matters, Georgian Officials refuse to discuss details.

“Information about such types of procurement of weapons should be top state secret,” Khidasheli said in June while speaking with the Georgian public broadcaster from Paris.

While initiating agreements with Official Tbilisi, France abandoned plans for weapons supply to Russia. In May, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Paris has decided not to deliver two Mistral-class warships to Moscow despite the knowledge that it will have to reimburse Moscow for its failure to fulfill the deal.

France was to sell the helicopter-carrier warships to Moscow under a EUR 1.2-billion (USD 1.5 billion) agreement signed in 2011.

In Georgia the deal with Paris on matters of defense became a source of political accusations two months ago. In April, Irakli Alasania, Georgia’s former Defense Minister, now chairman of the Free Democrats Party in the Parliament, claimed the government abandoned the preliminary deal – a non-binding memorandum of understanding, which he negotiated in France in October 2014, and which could have paved the way to purchasing of a much-needed air defense system.

These allegations were strongly denied by Mindia Janelidze, the then defense minister, who is now secretary of the State Security and Crisis Management Council.

Nino Japarashvili

Photo: Georgian Ministry of Defense
Georgia’s Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli (right) and Thales Raytheon Systems CEO for French operations Jérôme Bendell (left), Paris, June 15, 2015.

10 July 2015 14:23