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NATO Speaks About Growth in Its 70th Anniversary Text

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 21
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says that the alliance continues to grow and remains committed to its values in the text which is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the alliance, which will be marked on April 4.

“NATO has maintained the key value-the commitment of its member nations to protect and defend one another."

He said that since the end of the Cold War, NATO has nearly doubled its membership — from 16 member nations in 1989 to 30 when North Macedonia becomes a full member.

“NATO’s door remains open. We continue to work with the three aspirant countries — Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Ukraine — to bring them closer,” he said.

Stoltenberg frequently opposes continued threats from Russia targeted against the close NATO-Georgia cooperation.

He has stated many times that it is solely up to Georgia to decide with whom to cooperate.

NATO-Georgia largest ever military exercise has already kicked off near Tbilisi, with 24 countries involved.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin told Fox News at the end of the last year that Russia would react "extremely negatively” to the membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO.

“For us, well, it is a direct and immediate threat to our national security,” Putin said and added that moving NATO infrastructure towards Russian borders "is a threat” for his country.

Putin stated that he was concerned by the expansion of NATO’s facilities and infrastructure

“The number of servicemen is on the rise in regions where they should not be," Putin said.

“The military contingent in those regions has been increased by 10,000 people. This is incompliant with the treaties between Russia and NATO. And this is a destabilizing factor, which we have to take into account,” Putin said.

The comments came after Putin’s meeting with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki.