Friday, 23 February, 2018

The new approach of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to Russian Federation showed the efficiency Stoltenberg

NATO asks Russia to pull out from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, promises membership to Georgia NATO 'strongly' committed to Georgia's security
Melinda Barton | 07 December, 2017, 13:29

The NATO chief's comments came ahead of a NATO-Georgia Commission meeting in Brussels on the sidelines of the foreign ministers' summit.

Meetings concluded Wednesday with discussion of NATO's open door policy, aimed at standards and procedures for countries wishing to join the alliance, which has often been a source of tension in Eastern Europe.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday there could be no normal relations with Russian Federation until Moscow ended its support for separatists in Ukraine and returned Crimea, in comments likely to reassure Western allies.

"In eastern Ukraine we join our European partners in maintaining sanctions until Russian Federation withdraws its forces from the Donbass (region) and meets its Minks commitments", Tillerson said, referring to a previous deal to promote peace in Ukraine. Only a few countries followed Russia's lead. Moscow keeps troops in both regions in what Georgia considers an occupation.

"Our armed forces are increasingly capable of operating together, and planning is already under way for the 2019 NATO-Georgia joint military exercise", the secretary-general said.

"NATO continues to benefit from Georgia's advice on security issues relating to the Black Sea".

"In other words, NATO's support to Georgia is concrete and is making a real difference", he said.

"In a constantly evolving security landscape, NATO's partnership with the European Union is more important than ever", the secretary general said before the meeting.

Georgia - a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partner but not a full member - staged a major joint military exercise with the United States in July in a show of defiance to Moscow, which has thousands of troops posted in two disputed Georgian regions.

The foreign ministers will discuss the alliance's goal of projecting stability and fighting terrorism, he said, noting progress in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.