Defense Ministry says Georgia addressing MANPADS issue

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TBLISI, October 31 (RIA Novosti, Marina Kvaratskheliya) - The Commonwealth of Independent States' agreement on monitoring the proliferation of Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) is being addressed by the Georgian Defense Ministry, the ministry's deputy head said Monday.

"We believe that these kind of arms should be strictly monitored... The document is now undergoing procedural work," David Sikharulidze said.

The minister also expressed his surprise that separatists in Georgia had been able to get hold of that kind of military equipment.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday at a presidential meeting that the agreement on MANPADS is currently being implemented by all CIS members, excluding Georgia and Turkmenistan.

Georgia has signed the agreement, but has not yet fulfilled its preliminary obligations on the issue and has not announced which government department will implement the agreement, Ivanov said.

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