NATO commitment to Georgia strengthened by invasion, US says

Other News Materials 5 September 2008 01:43 (UTC +04:00)

Russia's invasion of Georgia has strengthened the need to bring the former Soviet Republic and other countries into the NATO alliance, the White House said Thursday, reported dpa.

"The desire to bring these new countries, these new democracies, and these countries that want to live in freedom and help defend each other, is even strengthened by the past month's activities," spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Russia strongly objects to continued NATO expansion and the alliance's announcement at an April summit that it intends to invite Georgia, and another former Soviet state - Ukraine, to join.

"Our support of Georgia's entry into NATO started long before any of these hostilities began," Perino said.

Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney was in Georgia on Thursday, the most senior US visit since hostilities over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia began August 6.

Cheney met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and assured him of Washington's commitment to extending the NATO alliance to Georgia.