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Rasmussen criticizes Russia on behalf of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 7
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen accused Russia of stirring up conflicts in Moldova, Georgia and in Ukraine. The NATO chairman stressed that Ukrainian self-defense forces are involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.

Rasmussen admitted that ever since the collapse of communism, NATO has made efforts to engage with Moscow, offering more cooperation on more issues than to any other non-NATO country, and striving towards a strategic partnership.

However, according to Rasmussen, “Russia’s response has been to tear up the rule book, stir-up conflict in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, and challenge the rules-based international order.”

Rasmussen stated that following the Crimea developments, NATO suspended cooperation with Russia and boosted partnership with the Ukrainian government

“We took immediate measures to strengthen our readiness, with more ships at sea, more planes in the air and more exercises on the ground,” Rasmussen says.

“NATO allies have more than doubled the presence of fighter jets over the Baltic States and launched surveillance flights over Poland and Romania. We have deployed more ships to the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. And we are holding a series of exercises across the region. All 28 allies are contributing to reinforcing collective defense, signaling NATO’s unity and resolve,” Rasmussen wrote.

Rasmussen has recently stated as well that the alliance would draw up new defense plans in the face of Russia’s aggression.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has already strongly criticized Rasmussen for his “unconstructive, baseless and the Cold War like rhetoric.”

Georgian officials, Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania and Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili called the statement made by Rasmussen “very important”. However, Petriashvili emphasized that such statements should be followed by real steps against the aggression carried out by Russia.

Analyst Kornely Kakachia told The Messenger that such statements are positive for Georgia and some other countries that are victims of Russian aggression. However, the analyst admits that the statement will not have any influence on Georgia receiving the Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the NATO Summit in Wales this September.

“The decision over Georgia has already been made regarding a substantive NATO package. I doubt the decision will be amended… Only Rasmussen’s statements are not sufficient for making a positive decision over granting MAP to Georgia. Such statements should be made by the leaders of western countries for achieving consensus over Russian activities and adopting relevant measures against the aggressor. However, we have listened to the statements made by France and Germany…Russia knows that Europe is split over its activities and uses the situation in favor of its own interests,” Kakachia states.

However, Kakachia suggests that in the case NATO and western countries continue making strong statements against Russia, Georgia’s chances to join the alliance and other international organizations will increase.

“Now there are no question marks that Russia is standing behind the conflicts in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine,” Kakachia states.