PM Garibashvili: “If Ukraine defeats Russia, what does it need NATO membership for?”

At today’s opening ceremony of “Mountain Days – 2023”, the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, speaking to the media, commented on the NATO Summit in Vilnius and the messages received at the Summit by Ukraine.

According to the Prime Minister, the stories broadcast by “distorting opposition televisions” in recent days have misrepresented the decisions made at the Summit. Mocking the broadcasts, he said: “You know that… at first they presented a picture [that] some miracle happened at the NATO Summit… [as if] Ukraine has already been de-occupied, won, a miracle happened, and Georgia was left behind”.

According to Garibashvili, the reality is quite different. “Apart from the fact that they said [at the Summit] that MAP [for Ukraine] is no longer needed, we heard direct statements that Ukraine cannot become a member of NATO until … it defeats Russia. I have a question, if Ukraine defeats Russia, what use [does it have for NATO membership]? NATO is the guarantor of security; the main organization which can guarantee the security of any sovereign, independent state is NATO. There is nothing better in the world today… That’s why we want to become a NATO member. But we have also heard some direct, so to speak, statements from Western leaders that Ukraine is not ready to become a NATO member country, etc. And I don’t want to continue, [but, at the Summit], it was about reforms, and it was emphasized that the country is at war,” the Prime Minister added.

He emphasized that at the NATO Summit, Ukraine was guaranteed membership only after winning the war with Russia. Garibashvili explained: “They said that they cannot allow the Third World War [to happen], that is, NATO and the entire West, the world, cannot enter into a direct military confrontation with Russia. In such a situation, friends, if we have an example of such a big country [Ukraine], ten times bigger than us… and NATO cannot take effective steps towards enlargement, [then] we, Georgia, must think of ourselves first, this example is a lesson for us too… That is why we have chosen the policy of strategic patience so that we don’t create unnecessary expectations; we should consistently follow our common national goal of bringing our country closer to the European Union, NATO, step by step, and eventually become a member of the European Union and NATO at the right time”.

The NATO Summit was held in Vilnius on July 11-12. As a result of the Summit, a final communiqué was published, which reads that Alliance remains committed to the pledge made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit, according to which Georgia will become a member of NATO with the Membership Action Plan (MAP), even though this requirement was removed for Ukraine. Prime Minister Garibashvili did not attend the Summit. The Georgian delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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