In France Parliament Speaker Calls for Georgia’s ‘Faster’ EU, NATO Integration

Georgian parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, said in Paris on May 6 that “faster” integration into EU and NATO is the only viable option for Georgia to secure its independence and security.

Addressing an audience at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris on May 6, Usupashvili said that sometimes “European friends” are asking question whether it is a “viable” option for Georgia to become a NATO member as it “irritates Russia too much” causing Moscow’s aggressive stance towards Georgia.

“But our analysis leads us to a different conclusion – it’s just vice versa. We are trying to become NATO member because this is the only available tool at the moment for [preventing] our country from becoming… part of empire or Customs Union or whatever it [may] be called,” Usupashvili said, adding that although NATO integration was not Ukraine’s goal, Russia anyway moved in to stop even economic integration of Ukraine with the EU.

“For us the next step should be even faster integration [to] the European Union and NATO,” he said.

Usupashvili’s visit to Paris comes a week ahead of French President François Hollande’s visit to Georgia as part of his trip to three South Caucasus states. In Paris Usupashvili met French National Assembly speaker Claude Bartolone and will also hold talks with speaker of the Senate Jean-Pierre Bel.

The Georgian parliament speaker also said that after Russia’s military aggression against Georgia in August, 2008 “uncertainty” increased among NATO members about what “to do with the promise” they made at the summit in Bucharest in April, 2008 that Georgia will join the Alliance. Usupashvili said this “uncertainty” should not last forever.

“We came here with the message that Georgia is and will remain reliable and predictable partner for the democratic world… We are ready to be flexible, we are ready to be patient; the only thing for what we are not ready is if the democratic world forgets about Georgia as it unfortunately happened in 1921 [when newly independent Georgia was invaded by the Bolshevik Red Army],” he said.


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