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Moscow threatens Georgia over its push towards NATO

By Messenger Staff
Friday, February 20
The scales of falsehood and hypocrisy in Russian policy are huge. Prior to the meeting of Georgian and Russian special envoys scheduled at the end of February, Russia signed a treaty on cooperation with de-facto South Ossetia and threatened Georgia over its NATO aspirations.

In the course of the meeting with de-facto South Ossetian officials, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov demanded the signing of the non-use of force agreement between Georgia and the occupied region, while Georgian leadership is eager to sign such an agreement with Russia.

Lavrov stressed that the importance of such a document has particular value when there are attempts to “lure” Georgia in NATO.

"Naturally, if these measures start to take shape – evidently, this process has already begun – we will take measures to prevent the negative effects of these developments,” Lavrov said.

It is obvious that opening a NATO training center in Georgia, will be described as “dragging” Georgia to NATO by Russian officials.

Alexander Grushko, Russia’s permanent representative at NATO, has already called the new center provocative.

“NATO’s intention of opening a training center in Georgia is a provocative step, which will worsen regional security,” he said.

“There is no need for NATO to set up any centers. Of course, we will be clarifying what it’s all about,” Grushko added.

It should be stressed that Russia made these recent statements in terms of Georgian-NATO relations when American official Victoria Nuland paid her official visit to Georgia, speaking about US support for Georgia regarding the implementation of the NATO-Georgian agreements.

“You will see a serious role taken by the United States in 2015,” she stated.

In their statements NATO officials claim that they are firm in their decision to open the center in Georgia before the end of the year.

Two days ago NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia wanted to dominate Eastern Europe.

Rasmussen stressed the crisis in eastern Ukraine was part of Russia's plan to reclaim dominance over Eastern Europe.

"It's part of a bigger master plan, to restore Russian influence in its near neighborhood,” this neighborhood covers the former Soviet space and therefore the Russians want to keep their neighbors weak and dependent on Russia and prevent them from seeking Euro-Atlantic integration in the European Union and NATO. That's why we see these conflicts not only with Ukraine but also with Moldova and Georgia,” he said.

What will Russia do when the center opens is hard to say, as Russian reactions will depend on various factors, the developments in Ukraine and the economic situation in Russia among them. However, it is evident that Russia will do its utmost to hinder NATO’s presence in the South Caucasus.