NATO Chief Thinks It Is Too Early to Speculate on Georgia’s Joining

I say that if the Russians are fried about it, let them in:

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on a visit Thursday to Georgia that it is too early to tell whether the former Soviet republic will be invited to take the final step toward NATO membership.

NATO members voted in 2008 to accept Georgia as a member, but since then the South Caucasus nation has denied been entry into the Membership Action Plan, the last condition for membership.

NATO says Georgia must strengthen its institutions, step up justice reforms and fully respect the rule of law before it is accepted into the action plan. Tbilisi, however, claims that NATO is dragging its heels because of the frozen conflict in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia.

Speaking at the opening of a joint NATO-Georgia training center, Stoltenberg said Georgia already has “the necessary tools to continue to move toward membership.”

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said the training facility would “in no way be directed against any of the neighboring countries,” an apparent attempt to assuage Russia’s fears about a NATO presence close to its border. Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war over South Ossetia in 2008.

Moscow reacted angrily to the ceremony in Georgia, saying that the NATO presence would tip the balance in the region.

That’s the idea.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ray Charles.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    I never dreamed that he was actually singing about NATO expansion.

    • The song is rich in meaning.

      Sure, it COULD be about the peach/zombie state but it could also be about the grapevines and fields of tea in the former Soviet satellite.

  • Alain

    Interesting to discover all these countries on the North Atlantic that I thought were located elsewhere.