Stoltenberg: it is important that Georgia live up to the democratic values we all believe in

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said it is important that Georgia live up to the democratic standards and stressed that NATO expects the non-NATO Allies to adhere to the sanctions to prevent facilitating Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg took part in a conversation “On the Road to Vilnius” dedicated to the upcoming Vilnius Summit on July 11-12 this year, in the framework of the Brussels Forum.

In a conversation with a moderator he mostly spoke about the Russia-Ukraine war, trans-Atlantic relations, and the NATO Vilnius Summit. When asked questions about Georgia’s NATO membership prospects against the complex regional background and whether NATO could help Georgian people to avoid possible Russia’s aggression he emphasized that Georgia is “part of the pattern” and that Moscow’s aggression against neighbors started in 2008 “with invasion into Georgia.” He said this is a “stark reminder that it is not only about this war in Ukraine”, noting: “we tried at the end of the Cold War to build with Russia, a better, friendlier relationship” which failed “because of Russia’s aggressive behavior”.

NATO Secretary General said that “NATO has worked with Georgia for many, many years” and helped implement reforms and develop practical and political cooperation. He said that at the Madrid Summit the Alliance made a decision to support vulnerable partners, including Georgia.

He stressed: “Having said that, I think also we have to understand that it is important Georgia lives up to the democratic values we all believe in. And of course, we also expect non-NATO Allies to adhere to the sanctions and to not make it easier for Russia to finance and to organize the war of aggression against Ukraine.”

He said Russia wants “to reestablish spheres of influence to control neighbors” and stressed that “this is not the world we would like to live in because that means that a lot of neighbors, former Soviet republics and members of the Warsaw Pact, will not have the independence, we strongly believe that all countries should have.”

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