Georgia’s NATO entry could lead to terrible conflict, Russian PM warns
“This could provoke a terrible conflict, and it is not clear why is this necessary,” the official said in an interview with Kommersant radio aired on Monday.
Medvedev also emphasized that in his opinion the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia that emerged after Georgian military attacked Russian peacekeepers in the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia could have been avoided. “There was no inevitability of this,” he said. In 2008 Medvedev was the President of the Russian Federation and it was him who gave the order to the Russian military to intervene and repel the Georgian aggression.
Georgia participates in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program and is widely seen as a prospective member of the bloc, but there is no official timetable for the actual accession so far. In mid-July this year NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg again confirmed the bloc’s intention to one day accept Georgia in its ranks, again without mentioning any dates.
Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin have repeatedly stated that NATO’s expansion on the territory of the former Soviet Union would only bring additional tensions in the world as Russia would have to reply to the buildup of foreign military forces near its borders.
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