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Russian Media Says Georgia May Join NATO without MAP

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, July 10
The Russian media outlet, RIA Novosti has reported that Georgia may join NATO without the Membership Action Plan (MAP) and that the alliance may announce this at the upcoming summit in Brussels.

"Presumably, the NATO summit will still confirm its position towards Georgia and emphasize that the third countries should not be involved in the expansion process of the alliance.

“At the summit, it might be said that Georgia can become a NATO member without MAP. At least such discussions are going on. Annual National Programs (ANP) and Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) may be considered as the primary instruments of integration," says the RIA Novosti source.

The NATO summit will be held in Brussels on 11-12 July.

The Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze expressed his hope that at the summit the partner countries will praise the progress made by Georgia.

"Our expectations are very positive. I think the final agenda clearly expresses our progress made by our country through the reforms carried out during the last few years. I am sure our partner countries will appreciate it,” Bakhtadze added.

Supportive statements regarding Georgia’s aspirations towards NATO have been made by several partner countries so far including US, Germany, and Estonia.

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has appealed to Alliance leaders to continue providing strong political and practical support to Georgia in the process of NATO integration and to advance the further political dimension of the country’s NATO membership process.

Russia, which now occupies 20 percent of the Georgian territory, says that it strongly opposes NATO’s presence near its borders.