TBILISI, DFWatch – Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov says it causes confusion and apprehension for his country that Georgia continues to be a candidate for NATO membership.
Lavrov said this after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council Thursday.
“Now, NATO partners in their documents still refer to Georgia among the so-called aspirants. We are perplexed and, frankly, cautious, because the process of remilitarization of Georgia after the war in 2008 is very fast,” Russian media quotes him saying.
Grigol Vashadze, Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Minister responded by saying that it is Georgia’s right to become member of any alliance it wants.
He says after 2008 there is a very clear disagreement between all normal democratic states and Russia regarding the Georgia issue. The civilized, democratic world supports Georgia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and does everything to accelerate Georgia’s way to European and Euro Atlantic structures.
“On the other hand there is a state which doesn’t recognize our territorial integrity, democracy and government chosen by the Georgian people. What’s important is that it doesn’t recognize that we have the right, as every sovereign country, to choose which organizations, alliances and connections, we want to be member of,” Vashadze added.
NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said after the same meeting that Georgia remains an issue over which NATO and Russia disagree.
Fogh Rasmussen said NATO supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
The Russian foreign minister recalled that while visiting Washington, President Saakashvili said that he had made a full recovery of military supplies.
“We are all worried, because we do not want another destabilization in the South Caucasus, because of another adventure by this man,” Lavrov added.