(TBILISI)--The Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated at a meeting dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia on May 26 that he hopes Georgia will integrate into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for 2021.
Georgian PM Hopes NATO Membership for 2021
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 28
Kvirikashvili said at the round table on Cooperation for Welfare - Strategy for the next Millennium held in the Parliament, Georgia “is ready for this challenge”.
"We hope that in 2021, after 100 years from the Soviet occupation, Georgia will acquire the status of a member of the North Atlantic Alliance. We are very confident that the world's civilized community, in particular the North Atlantic Alliance, will find the strength to consolidate the necessary decisions that are essential for our region and not only for our region.
“Georgia is ready for this challenge. Georgia is working hard every day to become a member of the European and Euro-Atlantic community," Kvirikashvili said.
Georgia and NATO relations officially began in 1994 when Georgia joined the NATO-run Partnership for Peace.
Georgia has moved quickly following the Rose Revolution in 2003 to seek closer ties and eventual membership with NATO.
Russia has opposed the closer ties, including those expressed at the 2008 Bucharest summit, where NATO members promised that Georgia would eventually join the organization.
On December 7,2011 Georgia was designated as an "aspirant country" of NATO.
Georgia has not yet gained the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP), as a sign that the NATO door is open for the country.
However, NATO claims that it provides high-level support to Georgia to help the country be in line with the alliance standards.