Accessibility links

Breaking News

Georgia Presses Case For NATO Membership

Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) 18 February 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili told a conference on security issues in Tbilisi today that Georgia was at the crossroads of the global fight against terrorism. He was making the case for Georgian membership in NATO.

NATO officials have made clear that Georgia cannot realistically expect to be considered for membership until at least 2009, even if it were to meet the criteria demanded by NATO.

Georgia has an army of 21,000, which it is seeking to equip and train to NATO standards. U.S. military personnel have been training Georgian soldiers for several years and Georgia has 850 troops in Iraq and a further 150 in Kosovo, where they form part of the peacekeeping operation.

Saakashvili said that Georgia was not just a consumer of security but a "very important component in the global security system."


RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

SUBSCRIBE For weekly news and in-depth analysis on Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia's North Caucasus by e-mail, subscribe to "RFE/RL Caucasus Report."

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.