Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Georgia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation future resurfaces during Russian Federation conflict anniversary

Georgia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation future resurfaces during Russian Federation conflict anniversary

"... We continue to call on Russia to reverse its illegal recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia's Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia regions, to fully implement the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, to engage in a constructive manner into the process of Geneva International Discussions (GID), and to enable access by the European Union Monitoring Mission and the international human rights monitoring mechanisms to the occupied territories of Georgia", the countries said in a joint communique commemorating the decade since Russian aggression against Georgia.

The foreign affairs ministry in Tbilisi said Russian Federation was conducting large-scale military drills involving thousands of troops and hundreds of vehicles in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian soldiers observe terrain near Gori, Georgia northwest of capital Tbilisi in a file image from 2008. Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in an interview broadcast by Russian state television Tuesday Aug. 7, 2018, on the 10th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war, issued a stern warning that incorporating Georgia into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could trigger a new "horrible" conflict.

The four countries reaffirmed their unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Only Russia and a handful of countries recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent.

The Georgian forces were defeated in days.

Medvedev added that NATO's expansion is a threat to Russian Federation.

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"This visit will not only be symbolic, but we will also talk with our colleagues, president and prime minister, Georgia's foreign minister, how we can specifically support them in cooperation with the European Union and NATO", Rinkevics added.

Earlier this summer, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders discussed closer ties with Georgia and Ukraine at their summit in Brussels.

'As for the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation decision reaffirming its commitment to eventually admit Georgia, what can I say to this?

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join the alliance. "Do they understand the possible implications?"

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, stated that Moscow would view NATO's further expansion, including the accession of Georgia and Ukraine, highly negatively, TASS is reporting.

Before the war, Russian officials had made clear that they vehemently opposed Georgia's efforts to achieve North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership under Saakashvili, and relations between the two countries were badly strained over issues including Moscow's support for Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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