Saakashvili Rules Out Georgia’s Neutrality
( Civil ) - President Saakashvili said on October 25 certain forces tried to impose status of neutrality on Georgia, which was totally ruled out.
" Georgia signed an agreement on its neutrality in 1920 with the Bolshevik Russia and after six months Georgia was occupied," Saakashvili said while meeting with 123 officers who celebrated graduation of a military academy on October 25.
Saakashvili then continued again referring to 1920 agreement: "We signed this agreement because Georgian politicians at that time considered that Europe would not help us and they also thought that this treaty would have placated those who wanted to conquer Georgia."
"So our firm response to their two demands - that Georgia should not have weapons and army and that Georgia should be neutral - will be that we will have modern, not large, but well-equipped armed forces and we will be committed to the principles of democracy and good-neighborhood. We will not undertake any such obligations that will bind us and our friends in defending Georgia's independence and sovereignty."
Russia senior officials and diplomats, as well as Russia's Foreign Ministry, indicated for several times this year that Moscow wanted to see Georgia as "a sovereign, neutral and friendly country."
Russia's calls for Georgian neutrality collide with Tbilisi's NATO ambitions. The Georgian authorities have repeatedly said that the country's Euro-Atlantic aspiration is the top foreign policy priority and it can not be traded off.
President Saakashvili also said on October 25 that Georgia was building "a new society, a modernized state, but based on its ancient traditions." The armed forces, he said, were "an integral part of this society."
"We are transforming our armed forces to modern standards with state-of-the-art military hardware ranging from armored vehicles to aircrafts. This is expansive, but we spare no efforts to have western-standard army," Saakashvili said.