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Official: Georgian NATO Training Center No Threat To Russia

Senior NATO official James Appathurai says a planned NATO training center in Georgia will not threaten Russia.

A top NATO official says a planned joint training center in Georgia is not aimed against Russia.

The NATO secretary-general’s special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, made the remark in an interview with RFE/RL.

Appathurai said the training center "had nothing to do with the regional security situation" and would focus solely on training.

Georgia's NATO aspirations were a chief cause of its five-day war with Russia in 2008.

In late January, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow visited Georgia to scout out prospective site for the training facility.

After meeting with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Vershbow said Georgia and NATO "are committed to have the training center up and running later this year."

He said it would "help Georgia to reform, modernize, and strengthen security and defense sector, and it will also be open to other NATO allies."