Russian PM: Georgia's accession to NATO may trigger terrible conflict

Russia warns of ‘horrible’ conflict if Georgia joins NATO

Russia warns of 'horrible conflict' if Georgia joins NATO

Ten years ago at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Bucharest the heads of state of the Alliance promised that Ukraine and Georgia will eventually become North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Georgia on Tuesday condemned Russia's continued "occupation" of its territory, a decade after the two countries went to war over the Kremlin-backed separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

During their joint appearance on Tuesday (7 August), the foreign ministers recalled the events of 7 August 2008, when Russian Federation carried out armed aggression against Georgia, resulting in more than 150,000 people having to leave their homes and over 400 dead Georgian soldiers. The de-escalation of military operations has made it possible to ease anxiety in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and reach a relationship with the European Union and other countries.

After the war, Moscow recognised South Ossetia and another separatist enclave, Abkhazia, as independent states where it then stationed permanent military bases.

Earlier this summer, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders discussed closer ties with Georgia and Ukraine at their summit in Brussels.

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join the alliance.

The foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia and the deputy prime minister of Ukraine were in Georgia on Monday and Tuesday on a visit marking 10 years since Russia's invasion of that country, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported. "Do they understand the possible implications?" The results of the referendum for joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation supported 77% of Georgian voters.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said on many occasions that Russia regards NATO's expansion into Georgia and Ukraine with "the utmost disapproval".

Georgian soldiers observe terrain near Gori, Georgia northwest of capital Tbilisi in a file image from 2008.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expansion causes concern in Moscow, as the military capabilities of the Alliance, including nuclear weapons aimed at Russian Federation.

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