Russian Federation warns of 'horrible conflict' if Georgia joins North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

"Georgia joining to NATO could trigger terrible conflict" - English - on B92.net

By the end of the conflict on August 12, several hundred people had died and Moscow subsequently recognized South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent states and has stationed military forces there ever since. "What Russia did and is doing against a sovereign government is a war between Russia Georgia, it's aggression, it's an occupation and it's a violation of all worldwide norms", president Giorgi Margvelashvili told ministers from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine at a meeting in the capital Tbilisi.

"By commemorating the 10 years since the Russian aggression against Georgia, which has significantly impeded Georgia's economic development, we continue to call on the global community to stand united in supporting Georgia and to continue to demand that Russia fully and without any further delay implements its worldwide commitments and starts honouring global law and the right of sovereign neighbouring states to choose their own destiny", the statement said. Both remain garrisoned by Russian troops until the present day.

Ten years ago, in August 2008, Russian Federation and Georgia went to war over South Ossetia, a small separatist Georgian region which Moscow would later controversially recognise as independent, in the face of global criticism.

"We want to remind you of the first military aggression of a neighbouring country in the post-war history of Europe to a sovereign state and the occupation of its territory, which has continued to this day".

The Kremlin has a tried and tested good-cop-bad-cop routine in which Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister and former president, is the good cop.

The Georgian forces were defeated in days.

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The Russian prime minister described NATO's eastward expansion as a major security threat to Russia. Margvelashvili was speaking at a meeting with the foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia in Tbilisi.

The two Baltic nations and Poland stressed that they are striving to make Georgia and Ukraine members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Georgia also contributes to NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders discussed ties with Georgia at their summit in Brussels in July, a move Medvedev, who was president when Russian and Georgian forces clashed in 2008, condemned.

Eastern European countries, which were formerly in the Soviet Union's sphere of influence, have in recent years frequently campaigned in favour of the two countries' accession.

"There is an unresolved territorial conflict ... and would they bring such a country into the military alliance?" "Even with the occupation of 20 percent of its territory, Georgia has made very significant progress in implementing reforms and has become a reliable and exemplary partner of both the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation", they said. He has warned against Georgia joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, stated that Moscow would view NATO's further expansion, including the accession of Georgia and Ukraine, highly negatively, TASS is reporting.

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