Georgia’s North Atlantic Treaty Organisation entry could lead to bad conflict, Russian PM warns

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia said it greatly appreciates the global community's support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

In addition to South Ossetia, the region of Abkhazia also received Russian support to break from Tbilisi; Moscow recognises both regions as independent and has been pressuring its allies to do the same.

The prime minister recalled that the 2008 armed conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, which also involved Russian Federation, "was not inevitable" and "could have been prevented".

Foreign affairs chiefs from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine met in Georgia this week to take part in commemorations marking 10 years since Russia's 2008 invasion of the Caucasus Republic and reiterate hopes that the country could soon join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Georgian forces were defeated in days.

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Saakashvili said that Moscow was concerned because reforms had made the South Caucasus country a "role model" for others in the region.

Georgian government continued their efforts for reconciliation by carrying out a policy dialogue for restoring territorial integrity, Koplatadze said.

Tiny Georgia has been trying for years to join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as a means of protection from Russian aggression. The results of the referendum for joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation supported 77% of Georgian voters.

The foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia and the deputy prime minister of Ukraine were in Georgia on Monday and Tuesday on a visit marking 10 years since Russia's invasion of that country, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

The Russian prime minister described NATO's eastward expansion as a major security threat to Russia. 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. "It [Russia] is a direct aggressor".

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