Tbilisi has published a report by the Defence and Security Committee of the Georgian Parliament, in which it is important to step up military-technical cooperation with Turkey. Among other things, according to the report, Ankara provided a grant of USD 17.5 million to the Georgian Ministry of Defence at the end of last year. The grant was awarded to Tbilisi on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement on military technical cooperation between Georgia and Turkey for the purchase of military goods and services, as well as for the modernization of a military airfield in Marneuli near the Azerbaijan and Armenia borders. On February 15, informs publication “Kommersant”.
During the Soviet years, this military airfield was considered an important link in the air system of the South Caucasus military area. After the collapse of the USSR, it was used by the Georgian Air Force. A number of “Su-25” attack aircraft manufactured at the Tbilisi aviation plant are stationed at the airport.
Irakli Aladashvili, editor-in-chief of the military-analytical magazine “Arsenali”, noted in an interview with “Kommersant” that in the face of the pandemic and the general economic crisis, Turkey has still found funds to help the Georgian army modernize the Marneuli military airfield in the South Caucasus. I. Aladashvili also emphasized that Turkey had repeatedly assisted the Georgian Ministry of Defence in recent years by supplying the neighbouring country with various military equipment, including two “Iroquois” helicopters.
In the so-called five-day war of 2008, Russian Air Force aircraft bombed Marneuli airfield intensively to prevent Georgian aviation from flying to South Ossetia.
In addition to Marneuli Airport in Georgia, there are at least two other airfields of the former USSR Armed Forces, one in the western Georgian town of Senaki and the other in Vaziani, near the Georgian capital Tbilisi.