Ukraine, Georgia should become North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members - Latvian foreign minister

Frederick Owens
August 9, 2018

"We are here today", the official said, "in order to confirm support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders".

"We want to call attention to the first military aggression by a neighbouring country against a sovereign state in Europe's post-war history and to the ongoing occupation of its territory", Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz was quoted as saying after a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial to honour President Lech Kaczyński in Tbilisi on Monday.

After the war, Georgia entirely lost control of both South Ossetia and another separatist region, Abkhazia.

Military conflict between Russian Federation and Georgia erupted in 2008 after Georgian troops attempted to regain control of South Ossetia, a breakaway province supported by Russian Federation.

The Prime Minister also noted that the war in Georgia in 2008 could have been avoided.

Czaputowicz was in Tbilisi on a two-day visit, alongside fellow top diplomats - Lithuania's Linas Linkevicius and Latvia's Edgars Rinkevics - as well as Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko.

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Ten years after the war between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia, Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, has warned of the consequences of Georgia joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Western defence alliance. The NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center, started in 2015, strives to help reform and modernize Georgia's security forces through cooperative, multi-national training exercises.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the "Russian military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia continues to violate worldwide law".

The Russian military quickly routed the Georgian army during the war.

The Prime Minister called the immoral and criminal behavior of Mikheil Saakashvili that was the President of Georgia in those years the ground for the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had also said that he would view NATO's further expansion with Georgia and Ukraine "highly negatively". The results of the referendum for joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation supported 77% of Georgian voters.

On 12 July NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed the Allied leaders' support for Georgia's aspiration to join the Alliance.

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