Georgian official: Russia is at blame for spoiling NATO bid

Other News Materials 3 April 2008 20:49 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) -  A Georgian official on Thursday blamed Russia for heading off its ambition to join NATO, the Interfax news agency reported.

Lawmaker Nino Nakashidze, who heads Georgia's parliamentary committee in charge of advancing the post-Soviet state's integration into European institutions, said Thursday's decision was "without doubt influenced by the Russian factor."

"NATO's decision with respect to Georgia and Ukraine only strengthens Russia's position in Europe," Interfax quoted Nakashidze as saying from Tbilisi.

But the emphasis in Tbilisi was on NATO's promise to review Georgia's membership bid at its next summit in December.

"In spite of Russia, it is inevitable that NATO will sooner or later allow Georgia's membership action plan," Nakashidze said, underlining that "even Germany" who opposed the country's entry remained open.

Russia categorically objects to NATO's expansion eastward, calling it the unnecessary spread of a foreign military block along its borders in a continuation of the West's Cold War policy of containment.