Georgia should not expect MAP in September
By Ana Robakidze
Thursday, June 26
NATO will develop a substantive package for Georgia that will help it come closer to the alliance. The news was voiced by the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the opening of the NATO Foreign Affairs Ministerial, making Georgia give up its hopes for receiving Membership Action Plan (MAP) in September.
“This is a summit decision but we have agreement in principle that we will develop a substantive package for Georgia that will help it come closer to NATO. We will work out the elements in the coming weeks.” Rasmussen stated. He explained that the alliance remains loyal to its open door policy and the member states have agreed to continue judging the aspirant countries on its merits and NATO will give them the necessary support they need to get them through the door.
Just before the NATO foreign ministerial started, on June 24, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze met Rasmussen in Brussels.
“I have once against reiterated at today’s meeting with the Secretary General that Georgia’s ambition is to become a NATO member and to take steps on this path of integration,” Panjikidze said after the meeting. She also added that her country has all the right to have best expectation from NATO.
“Our Summit in Wales in September will mark that success and maintain the momentum. And let me be clear: NATO’s door remains open. And no third country has a veto over NATO enlargement. “The Secretary General said on June 25.
Meanwhile, one of the aspirant countries, Montenegro has better hopes for membership. NATO is going to open intensified and focused talks, and will assess at the latest by the end of 2015 whether to invite Montenegro to join the Alliance.
Speaking about security issues, Rasmussen expressed his deep regret about relations with Russia and that the country refuses to respect its international commitments. NATO is going to review its relations with Russia and decide what to do next.
Preparation for the Wales summit in September and a changed security situation in Europe due to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine was the major focus of the ministerial. Also, the Foreign Ministers are expected to agree on a package of long-term support measures for Ukraine, including the creation of new trust funds.