Deputy defense minister: United States urges Russia to fulfill ceasefire agreement
Georgia, Tbilisi, Nov.18 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia /
The United States has urged Russia to fulfill the ceasefire agreement signed in 2008. As U.S Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Vershbow said at a meeting in Washington at the Hopkins Institute, the United States continues to exert pressure on Russia in this matter.
"All sides, including Russia, must take concrete steps to achieve stability," he said. "We explained to our Georgian colleagues that resolving the conflict via the military route will fail."
According to Vershbow, the United States continues to support Georgia in terms of its military transformation along the Euro-Atlantic borders.
"This assistance envisages Georgia's institutional development, which contributes to Georgia's entry into NATO," he said.
Vershbow said as long as Georgia participates in the annual membership program, the United States will continue its support and to fulfill the obligations taken at the Bucharest summit.
NATO member countries judged Tbilisi as not ready to receive the status of a candidate for alliance membership at a meeting in Brussels on Dec. 2-3, 2008, in which NATO foreign ministers participated. They postponed the submission of a plan of action on NATO membership for an indefinite period. The first Georgian bids for a plan of action for alliance membership were rejected at a NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008. It was stated that Georgia will be a member of the alliance in the future.
Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of de facto South Ossetia, and later Russian troops occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back into Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with these regions on Sept. 9, 2008.