Conflict & Justice

U.S. Navy and Coast Guard in Georgia

JM explained why the Navy is there: we're here to ensure that we have unimpeded access in the delivery of humanitarian aid and supplies that the U.S. government in coordination and at the request of the Georgian government to supply the needs of the Georgian people who most require assistance. (How much in humanitarian aid is your ship carrying, RW?) We brought 76,000 pounds of humanitarian aid. That largely consists of hygiene products, some baby care items, and some food items. (JM, you have heard the charges yourself from the Russian government that they believe you're carrying weapons under the guise of humanitarian aid.) That's entirely false. Our sole focus is to supply humanitarian aid to the people of Georgia. (Have either of you detected any tension on the ground in Georgia? Are you the object of any animosity on the ground?) JM: This is my second trip to this region in the past week and I have not seen any animosity. I've been greeted with kindness and graciousness and the people of Georgia are grateful for our aid and the friendship of America. (RW, did you upgrade your status of alert as you came into the Black Sea?) We've been able to enjoy normal posture. (How has this been a humbling experience?) JM: when you look into the faces of people who have gone through a recent crisis and then you see huge smiles, it's something you cannot walk away from without being affected. This is a worthwhile cause and a humanitarian mission. RW: I've been to over 40 countries and I've never received a more warm welcome than we did in Georgia today.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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