Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani said that NATO’s stance on Georgia and Ukraine is unwavering and that they [partner countries] will tell Russia at NATO-Russia talks today that the alliance’s position towards both countries will not be revised.
Representatives from Russia and NATO are meeting in Brussels today for talks aimed at defusing growing tensions over Russia’s military buildup near the border of Ukraine. Russia has demanded security guarantees from NATO and the US, including pledging that NATO will not allow Ukraine and Georgia to join the military alliance.
Today’s meeting of the #NATO–#Russia Council is underway. It is a timely opportunity for dialogue at a critical moment for European security. When tensions are high, it is even more important that we sit down around the same table and address our concerns. pic.twitter.com/Ek8ey05aGL— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 12, 2022
Responding to the issue, Zalkaliani noted that Georgia has had intensive communication with the main strategic partners, NATO and the US recently. He said our [Georgia’s] partners position is solid.
Despite the demands and the very harsh rhetoric that we [the Georgian government] heard from Russia, the position of our western partners is very solid. They made it clear to Russia once again that security guarantees and membership of the alliance will be decided by the countries themselves,” Zalkaliani said.
Zalkaliani also noted that the decision was made in 2008 at the Bucharest Summit that Georgia and Ukraine will eventually become members of the Alliance.
Moreover, we [Georgia] have a guarantee that clearer decisions will be made over Georgia’s integration to NATO at the Madrid Summit this year,” Zalkaliani said.
FM Zalkaliani also said he does not expect Russia to radically change its position and become consistent in its approaches to the common Euro-Atlantic and European security system, ‘as it is a long process.’