No country has the right to interfere the process of Georgia's membership in NATO-Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General answered some questions at press conference in Georgia. The journalist from Reuters News Agency asked him what role Russia plays in political decision making over Georgia’s membership in NATO because Russia is opposing NATO’s enlargement.
Jens Stoltenberg answered: “For NATO it is a fundamental principle that every nation has the right to decide its own path including, what kind of security arrangements or military alliance it wants to be part of. And this not the only principle that NATO has subscribed to but it’s actually a principle that also Russia and all other European nations have subscribed to many, many times starting with the Helsinki Final Act back in the 1970s and then repeatedly done so in different international treaties. So for every sovereign nation, for every independent nation as Georgia it is a fundamental right to choose whether it wants to be a member of the Alliance or whether it doesn’t want to be a member of the Alliance.
That’s the independent decision of an independent nation. So whether Georgia is going to become member of NATO or not is up to NATO, the 28 allies and Georgia to decide, nobody else has the right to interfere or try to veto or try to intervene in that process. And this has been underlined by NATO again and again and NATO’s door remains open and that has been shown many, many times despite protests, despite expressions from Russia that they dislike the enlargement of NATO; NATO has continued to enlarge.
And we are now in the process of moving from 28 to 29 members because Montenegro is in the process of becoming the 29th member of NATO, showing that the door is open. NATO’s door to enlargement is still open and it’s still functioning. So, this of course also applies for Georgia and that’s the reason why we made a decision we made in Bucharest. I was there myself and that’s the reason why we have also reaffirmed that decision as late as at our Summit in Warsaw in July.”