Georgia is pushing for rapid entry into NATO with plans to meet membership requirements within the next three years, the Georgian state minister for Euro-Atlantic integration, Giorgi Baramidze said.
Several European states, including Germany, are reluctant to let the Caucasian nation join NATO. Experts say that unresolved territorial issues in the wake of the country’s 2008 war with Russia make its accession unthinkable.
‘We have to convince some members of the alliance that Georgia’s membership is important for them and that our accession won’t lead to any problems for NATO,’ Baramidze said.
The minister promised that Georgia would not go to war with Russia over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but rather resort to diplomacy to secure their ‘liberation.’
‘Georgia’s membership in NATO and eventually the European Union will give us power to achieve our goals and develop our relationship with Russia,’ Baramidze said.
The governments of the NATO nations had approved Georgia’s membership at a summit in April 2008, but did not set an accession date. Russia has warned NATO about welcoming the former Soviet republic.