Moscow blasts Georgia's tilt toward NATO

Aug. 7, 2013 at 12:37 PM
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MOSCOW, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Georgia has nothing to gain but more headaches if its moves closer to the NATO alliance, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with leaders in Tbilisi in June for a two-day visit to discuss Georgia's progress in integrating with the European community. Rasmussen was in Tbilisi at the invitation of the Georgian government, which aspires to join the alliance.

Allied heads of state in 2008 agreed to Georgia's accession provided it embraces defense and political reforms. That same year, Georgia and Russia went to war briefly related to the breakaway republic South Ossetia.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev defended the military action as a defensive measure to ensure regional stability. Georgia defended its attack in South Ossetia as a response to assaults on peacekeepers in the region.

Medvedev was quoted Tuesday by RIA Novosti as saying Georgia has nothing to gain with its NATO relationship.

"This would give nothing to Georgia as a sovereign and dynamically developing state, but would create a long-term source of tensions between our countries," he said.

NATO praised Georgia's contribution to international military operations, notably in Afghanistan where it's the largest contributor of military forces outside the alliance.

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