As fighting continued to rage in the Georgia-Russia conflict, Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned against leaving friends during testing times. "We view Russia as a very important country both on a regional and global scale," said Barak during an Armored Corps drill in the North. "[At the same time,] we see Georgia as a country with which we have friendly relations, and Israel, particularly due to its experience, must ensure that it does not rush to leave its friends at a testing time." "This is what we have expected from our friends and it is what our friends expect from us," he continued. The remarks came amid Russian protests over Israeli weapons sales to Georgia.