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Georgia Says Russian Occupation Makes Joining NATO Challenging

Giorgi Baramidze
Giorgi Baramidze
TBILISI -- The Georgian state minister for Euroatlantic Integration has said after a NATO-Georgia Commission meeting that the alliance reiterated its pledge that Georgia and Ukraine will one day join NATO.

But Giorgi Baramidze told RFE/RL's Georgian Service after the meeting in Brussels that "we should be realistic" and not underestimate the challenges that Georgia faces in joining NATO because of the Russian occupation of its breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The meeting was attended by NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and NATO ambassadors.

It was announced at the meeting that a NATO mission will be opened in Tbilisi that will represent alliance interests in Georgia.