Georgia unprepared for NATO membership - defense minister
25 June 2014, 18:38 -- Georgia currently ponders gradual integration with NATO opposing to immediate shift to the Western military alliance's membership, the Georgian defense minister said on Wednesday.
Minister Irakly Alasaniya said his country needs some time 'to be completely ready for a full-fledged NATO membership in terms of the country's political system, security measures and defense level', TASS reports.
'Georgia is not ready for this [NATO membership] and we speak currently about further steps for the country to be taken toward integration with NATO,' Alasaniya said commenting on a statement delivered earlier in the month by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Speaking in early June, Rasmussen said Georgia's progress concerning its accession to NATO would be evaluated at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales this fall.
On June 4 NATO-Georgia commission held a meeting at the level of defense ministers and following the talks Rasmussen said 'I am confident that our next summit will recognize Georgia's progress.'
Georgia's long aspired NATO membership had been a stumbling block in relations with Russia, which repeatedly hinted that the expansion of the Western military alliance posed a threat to the country's national security.
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