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Saturday, February 20, 2010
Georgian leader warns Europe against Russia warship deal
Georgia on Thursday (19 February) warned Europe against a proposed French sale of warships to Russia, as it would allow Moscow to invade any former Soviet republic "within hours," echoing concerns raised by Baltic leaders that the deal is in breach of an EU code on arms trade.
There is no EU law governing arms sales by member states. But in 2008 the bloc adopted a political commitment not to sell weapons or components to countries which violate human rights, pose a risk to regional stability or hurt the security interests of EU allies.
The code was signed into life by the French EU presidency four months after the Georgia war.
Earlier this month, a Pentagon spokesman said the US's "friends and allies" in Eastern Europe had "good reason" to be nervous about the deal.
Selling assault ships to a "revisionist power that might become revanchist" was extremely risky