Lavrov: If Georgia Joins NATO, Relations Will Be Spoiled
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov talked about the relations between Russia, Georgia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the interview with Kommersant.
When asked whether Russia blocked Georgia’s accession to NATO by recognizing Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” as “independent states”, he responded that it was not Russia’s goal, but they acted in accordance with the interests of local residents.
“We have not blocked anything, but acted in the interests of the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia when Mikheil Saakashvili violated all the terms given to the Russian authorities, issued a criminal order to place troops in South Ossetia and opened fire on civilians and peacekeepers. We were not thinking about NATO then, we were just thinking about saving human lives. But, of course, NATO approaching our borders is a threat to Russia,” he noted.
When asked what would happen in case of Georgia’s accession to NATO without Abkhazia and “South Ossetia”, he responded that Russia would not start a war.
“Even Jens Stoltenberg talked about this. We promise that we will not start a war, however, our relations with NATO and the countries that consider joining it as a priority will be seriously spoiled,” he said.
It is noteworthy that on September 26, Lavrov met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Davit Zalkaliani in New York, where the UN General Assembly is underway. The meeting of Foreign Ministers of the two countries has taken place for the first time after the diplomatic relations were cut off between Georgia and Russia in 2008.
The meeting was organized by the Swiss side, which mediates between the two countries.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the ministers discussed topical issues of bilateral relations and exchanged views on regional security issues.
By Ana Dumbadze
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