KyivPost

Rasmussen: Georgia has NATO as a friend

Print version
Sept. 7, 2012, 9:15 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
© AP

Tbilisi - Georgia's upcoming parliamentary elections followed by a presidential election in 2013 will be a test for Georgian democracy, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Tbilisi on Thursday.

At a briefing with President Mikheil Saakashvili, Rasmussen said that the future was in Georgia's hands but it should know that it had NATO as a friend.

He stressed that Georgia was a special partner for NATO.

Rasmussen praised Georgia's participation in NATO's operation in Afghanistan.

In autumn, Georgia will become a major non-NATO contributor to the NATO-led multinational forces in that country, he said.

Although the alliance will complete its mission in Afghanistan in 2014, it will continue to provide support to the Afghan Armed Forces, NATO's chief said.

At its 2008 Bucharest summit, NATO announced that it would wish to see Georgia among its members in the future, and this position was confirmed at the alliance's recent summit in Chicago, he said.

Commenting on Russian officials' statements that the August 2008 war had been necessary, apart from anything else, to prevent Georgia from joining NATO, Rasmussen said that if that had indeed been the aim of that conflict, it had failed.

No third country has a right to interfere with NATO decisions, NATO is conducting an "open doors" policy and hopes that Russia would respect its decision, he said.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/kyivpost/. The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.

KyivPost

© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.