Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has accused the West of acting provocatively with its naval operations in the Black Sea, highlighting the volatile atmosphere ahead of Monday’s talks.
Russia has accused the US of rearming Tbilisi’s defeated army, a charge dismissed as “ridiculous” by Washington.
Medvedev reiterated those suspicions at a meeting with officials in the Kremlin. “They’ve dispatched a whole fleet to give humanitarian aid. I wonder how they would feel if we now dispatched humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean, suffering from a hurricane, using our navy,” he said.
The US has sent several warships loaded with supplies to Georgia. The USS Mount Whitney is the biggest vessel to have been dispatched and the first to travel to the port of Poti, which is patrolled by the Russian navy and ringed by Russian troops.
As much as Moscow sees the deliveries as an act of provocation, Tbilisi regards them as a crucial show of support.