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Occupied Tskhinvali Concerned by Georgia’s Intentions to Join NATO

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 5
The de facto leadership of Georgia’s eastern occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region is concerned by the intentions of Tbilisi to join NATO, the de facto president of the region Anatoly Bibilov said before the NATO Brussels Summit on July 11-12.

"Georgia has the right to join any alliance and South Ossetia cannot prevent this. At the same time, this is concerning and everything is being done to protect the people of the republic from possible provocations and forceful scenarios.

“That is why South Ossetia, together with Russia, creates joint defense and security forces. Steps in this direction should comply with the possibility of arrival of NATO forces to our borders,” Bibilov says.

The Georgian top officials say that the country is waiting for something different from the upcoming summit.

The Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze stated in Washington a week ago that Georgia is expecting clear messages concerning the country’s integration with NATO from the summit.

“The summit will also endorse certain initiatives related to NATO-Georgi cooperation in various fields, especially in defense and security”, Kobakhidze said.

49Georgian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have also addressed NATO before its Brussels Summit to express genuine support for Georgia during the annual meeting.

“Georgian citizens proved their dedication to democratic transformation and modernization of the country, as well as their readiness to ensure that Georgia is a responsible member and contributor to international security, as demonstrated by Georgia’s significant participation in NATO-led peace operations,” the NGOs say.

“We firmly believe that Georgia’s NATO membership will strengthen security and the stability of all of Europe as well as provide a major boost to Georgia’s development,” the NGOs stated.

Russia has clearly stated many times that it strongly oppose NATO near its borders.

The Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) have been recognized as independent states by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

The rest of the international community says the regions are occupied by Russia.