Usupashvili to NATO: “Today, Georgia is ready to be a NATO member”
Georgia’s Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili spoke at the NATO PA in Budapest, explaining to the audience why the decisions made there were so important for his country: “This is my first speech at NATO PA. I have the unique opportunity to once more highlight why the decisions made here are so important for my country,” he said. “Despite the socio-economic crisis, poverty and violation by a neighbor country, Georgia has managed to make steps towards democracy. We are not yet over the long-term journey but we are ready to be a state standing resolute to make its own decisions, to be reliable and to be a foreseeable partner to NATO states. This progress cannot be achieved without friends and allies. Russia must be engaged, but for the Euro-Atlantic security architecture to retain its integrity there must be deterrence,” Usupashvili said, adding that upholding an open door policy should be one such deterrence.
He went on to speak about reforms following the 2012 parliamentary, presidential and municipal elections, the human rights national strategy, the law on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination, judicial independence, freedom of media and more. He also said that Georgia wants to be a safe, democratic state with an open market and rule of law. “Aspiration to NATO is irreversible. Our obligation in collective security is already clear and is evident in our contribution to Afghanistan. Georgia may not be a full-fledged member of NATO but, legally, politically and tactically, we are valuable contributors to the collective security.”
“After more than 12 years of travelling, I do not want people to be disappointed by prolonged talks whether Georgia deserves MAP or not,” he said. “The time has come for another step to be made on Georgia’s NATO integration process, but it has to be a decisive step in this direction, and the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw next year is the right place for that. The time has come for responsible political decisions about Georgia.”