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Candidate of the US Secretary of Defense promises to assist Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, February 11
Ash Carter, who might be chosen as the next United States Secretary of Defense, will help Georgia if he is appointed to the post.

In his interview for the American Publication Defense News, Carter says that the United States and NATO should reject Russian assertions that Moscow is entitled to a "sphere of influence" in Eastern Europe — and build militaries capable of handling "any opponent.”

"I reject the notion that Russia should be afforded a sphere of influence," Carter wrote.

"If confirmed, I will continue to encourage US partners, such as Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine, to build their security capacity and military interoperability with NATO."

Carter also said the US should maintain its leading role in collective defense planning among NATO allies, and that he would urge allies to invest in military capabilities that can impose costs on any opponent while pushing large and small NATO allies to invest more money and resources in capabilities that are needed by the alliance.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, who met his Hungarian colleague in the frames of his visit, stated that Georgia firmly stands on the path to NATO.

“It is the choice of the Georgian people,” he said.

Meanwhile, a couple of days ago, the Russian President directly accused the West in triggering the current Ukrainian conflict and connected the offensives in Ukraine to NATO.

“Western countries broke pledges not to expand NATO and forced countries to choose between them and Russia,” Putin said.

There is speculation among Georgian analysts that the country might face the same threat as it did during the August 2008 War with Russia, owing to Georgia’s open push towards NATO. Some analysts believe that if this is the case, the West and the NATO will not assist Georgia.

Russia is openly against the launching of a NATO training center in Georgia. However, this training center was foreseen in the Georgian-NATO substantive package given to Georgia last year instead of the desired Membership Action Plan.

“The training center in Georgia is a step which cannot be looked as other than provocative. There is no need for NATO to set up any centers. Of course, we will be clarifying what is that all about,” Alexander Grushko, Russia’s permanent representative to NATO said.

There is a question frequently asked by ordinary citizens that remains unanswered: Who will help us if Russia decides to punish us for our Euro-Atlantic aspiration?