Hard way towards NATO
06 June, 2013
Hard way towards NATO
Dmitri Medvedev: Moscow Views NATO near Its Borders as Negative Fact
Anders Fogh Rasmussen: Third country has no right to interfere into Alliance’s business

‘NATO itself decides the issue of membership of a concrete country and countries themselves choose their way to NATO’ – this is how the NATO General Secretary responded to Dmitri Medvedev’s declaration. Rasmussen declared about it at a special briefing before the beginning of NATO –Georgia session in Brussels.
‘I would like to stress once again
that a third country is not authorized to interfere into Alliance’s business, it’s up to NATO to decide. The Alliance has one main principle – every country has the right to individually choose the alliance it wishes to become the member of. In 2008 at the Bucharest summit we declared that Georgia would by all means become the Alliance member provided it meets the NATO standards; we’ve set up NATO-Georgia commission that will assist Georgia to achieve the goal.
“Georgia is a special partner for NATO and a nation which wishes to become a member of the Alliance. Its commitment to the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan is significant. Georgia is indeed the number one non-NATO troop contributor to ISAF. We greatly appreciate the act of support of Georgia for our operations both in the past and currently. We highly value the professionalism and the courage of Georgia’s Armed Forces and we salute the sacrifices that it made.
Given the very demanding reforms that Georgia is currently carrying out in defence sector, these efforts are all more impressive. NATO cooperates with Georgia in implementing its reforms and allies stand ready to continue to share their experiences and to provide their support.
We also continue to follow with great interest the challenges and developments that Georgia is experiencing within its borders. We expect from the Georgian government to respect the rule of law, human rights and the rights of minorities. We encourage Georgia to pursue these key reforms and to strive to hold free and fair Presidential elections at the end of this year. And we reiterate our unwavering support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within internationally recognized borders.
A stable and democratic Georgia has its place within the Euro-Atlantic Community. And I look forward to a future when Georgia will be the part of the Alliance. The decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Bucharest remain valid. Georgia will become a member of NATO as soon as it fulfills the membership criteria”. 
Following the NATO Secretary General‘s speech, Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania addressed the ministers of defence. He focused attention on the reforms ongoing in Georgia and in the field of defence of the country, as well as on Georgia‘s involvement in the ISAF mission. As the Minister outlined, by contribution to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, Georgia reaffirms that it is not only a consumer of security but is actively engaged in establishing peace worldwide.
Moscow doesn’t view NATO near its borders as a positive fact, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the Euro-Atlantic regional summit. 
Russia’s Prime Minister made the statement after he was asked how the balance of powers would change if Sweden and Finland join NATO.
“It’s their business and they make decisions according to the sovereignty doctrine. We can’t help mentioning what NATO means to us – It is a structure with firm military potential”, Medvedev said. He said that in case of undesirable developments, this potential may be used against Russia. ”Any new member of the North Atlantic alliance located near our state, changes the balance of powers and we are forced to respond to it”, Medvedev said.
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