NATO says Georgia must implement reforms before joining the Alliance

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday urged Georgia to intensify its political and military reforms to bring the ex-Soviet state closer to membership of the Western alliance.

“Further reforms will be a ticket to membership,” Rasmussen told reporters in Tbilisi at the start of his two-day visit to the country.

NATO leaders agreed at their 2008 summit in Bucharest that Georgia and Ukraine could join the military alliance at an unspecified point in the future, although they were denied coveted pre-membership status amid strong opposition from Russia.

“Since the Bucharest summit, Georgia has become a lot closer to NATO but there is still work to be done,” Rasmussen said.

He praised the government’s reform process but said more must be done to strengthen the rule of law, media freedoms, the judiciary and the electoral process before upcoming polls.

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