On January 19, Antony Blinken, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for State Secretary, reaffirmed 19 his support for keeping the NATO’s door open for Georgia.
“If a country like Georgia is able to meet the requirements of membership and if it can contribute to our collective security, yes, the [NATO’s] door should remain open,” Blinken stated during U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
The remarks came in response to Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who asked the State Secretary nominee, whether he still supports “putting Georgia in NATO.”
Senator Paul then challenged the Secretary-designate, noting that “so if you are successful [with Georgia’s NATO membership], then we will be at war with Russia now.” The Senator added that bringing the Russian-occupied country to NATO “not only is provocative,” but would also be a vote for war against Russia, activating the Alliance’s Article 5, which implies collective defense.
Blinken retorted: “I actually think just the opposite… There is a very good reason that Russia has proved aggressive against countries that are not actually in NATO and under the umbrella and a good reason why it has chosen not to attack.”
“I think we have seen,” he continued, “that countries that have joined NATO have not been the same target of Russian aggression, that we have seen [in case of Georgia”.