Davit Usupashvili (IPN)

Davit Usupashvili (IPN)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The Republican Party wants to have a U.S. military base in Georgia before the country becomes a full member of NATO.

This was one of the statements made by Republican Party members during a debate on Rustavi 2 Tuesday evening, in their election special ‘Archevani’.

During the debate, party spokesperson Davit Usupashvili, who is speaker of parliament, drew attention to his proposal to add a text to the Constitution saying that ‘it is firm will of Georgian people to join the Euro-Atlantic space.’

The proposal came as a response to a proposal by Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement, to state in the Constitution that Georgia should have non-bloc status, i.e. not be allied with either NATO or Russia.

Usupashvili said that number one issue on the Republicans’ list of priorities is the security of the state, and their main goal is to join NATO. He went even further, and proposal establishing a United States military base here, before Georgia even becomes a member of NATO.

“Before Georgia actually joins NATO, the country has to take care that a U.S. military base is located on the territory of Georgia,” Usupashvili said, adding that it is crucial for the country’s security.

“When they talk about non-bloc status and legalizing Russian military bases in Georgia, our response should be the following: to redirect the policy in another direction, the location of U.S. or any other NATO member states’ military base and we will fight for this.”

In 2015, NATO opened a training facility in Tbilisi, which was unofficially described as a ‘base‘. Russia has called it provocative.