NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller says that Russia is against Georgian membership in NATO, but the attitude has nothing to do with the position of the alliance.
Gottemoeller made the statement during a press conference with Georgian PM Giorgi Gakharia, on the sidelines of the 5th North Atlantic Council (NAC) meeting in Batumi earlier today.
She said that NATO is concerned by Russia’s military activeness in the Black Sea region and “that is why we are strengthening cooperation between Georgia and NATO naval forces.”
Allied Ambassadors & #Georgia emphasize the unique scope & depth of Georgia’s relationship with #NATO. Allies welcome the substantial progress on reforms in Georgia over the past decade.— Rose Gottemoeller (@Gottemoeller) October 3, 2019
Read the full statement by the North Atlantic Council here: https://t.co/rFWLUYKXxg pic.twitter.com/rlBBV4Q3i9
Georgian PM Giorgi Gakharia said that Georgia’s NATO membership is for the regional and international stability and “not against someone’s security.”
Gakharia expressed hope that the “existing high-level cooperation with NATO,” will provide a “genuine result.”
The NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC), which met at ambassadorial level in Batumi today with the participation of the Georgian PM, allied ambassadors and Georgia, released a joint statement later today.
The document praises Georgia’s role for international peace and security and the steps taken for the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP).
NATO values Georgia’s engagement in, and contributions to, strategic discussion and mutual awareness, on security in the Black Sea region. NATO is further developing dialogue and practical cooperation in this context, including through the SNGP,” the statement reads.
It also says that NATO sees “the clear progress made by Georgia on defence spending and in implementing comprehensive reforms aimed at strengthening Georgia’s defence and resilience capabilities.”
The document reiterated full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called upon Russia to withdraw its forces from Georgia.
Read the full statement here.