Georgia deserves NATO membership, says Shalva Papuashvili

Tbilisi: The Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, Shalva Papuashvili stated that Georgia deserves to be a member of NATO. He noted that Georgia had so many soldiers killed and wounded in the war in Afghanistan that 2/3 of NATO countries didn’t have contingent there, therefore Georgia has proved that it deserves membership.

Papuashvili added: “There is no reason to say no to Georgia. You can always find a reason; there is no reason. One thing that Georgia proved to NATO by its involvement in this or that operation is that it wants to be an appropriate partner and member of NATO.

Georgia has represented in the NATO mission in Afghanistan with a contingent that outnumbered many NATO member countries and contingents.

Georgia had as many soldiers killed and wounded in the war in Afghanistan that 2/3 of NATO countries didn’t have a contingent there. So, in terms of its participation, Georgia has proven that it deserves NATO membership.

Secondly, as far as institutional development is concerned, it is no longer a secret that Georgia is ahead of many, especially new NATO member states, in terms of many parameters. Whether it’s indicators of democracy, fighting corruption, transparency, or good governance, many new NATO members are present in this regard.

Third, the Armed Forces of Georgia are fully compatible with the corresponding NATO standards. 80 per cent of our armed forces in different forms, be it missions or so, participate in various events with NATO soldiers.

Hence, it is fully compatible with NATO standards. Therefore, in fact, for a long time, there is no reason for Georgia to refuse to go to the next stage. All it takes is a political decision, which, unfortunately, will be delayed.

It was late in 2008 at the Bucharest summit when it was said the door was open, but nothing specific was said. Of course, this had consequences for both Georgia and Ukraine. Sadly, since it’s been this way, political decisions are delayed.

There is no reason to refuse to take Georgia to the next stage. There can be only one excuse, and if someone needs an excuse, he can come up with it easily.”

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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