Bakhtadze to Fox TV: Georgia-US Co-operation at All-time High

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze told Bret Baier, the host of Special Report with Bret Baier on the Fox News Channel, that his country's relationship with the United States is at an 'all-time high' and that he is 'encouraged' by President Trump's 'dialogue' with Putin.

Bakhtadze says Trump’s decision to have a dialogue with Russia is a good step, adding there is no other alternative.

“But we should also take into consideration the regional context because turbulence is growing but direct interaction with Russia is at the highest level possible: it is really very positive and fruitful,” he said.

“Under President Trump's administration, the US-Georgia Security Cooperation has never been as strong as now and we truly appreciate this,” Bakhtadze said.

He also spoke about Georgia-Russia relations, adding the northern neighbor has occupied 20% of Georgian territory and still continues its aggressive policy.

“Russia occupies two historical regions of Georgia…Many locals had to leave these territories because of this,” Bakhtadze said, noting that the Government of Georgia is fully committed to peaceful resolution of the conflict.

“Unfortunately, Russia is still trying to undermine our peaceful initiatives,” he stressed.

As for Georgia’s aim to become a NATO member, the PM says it is the country’s main priority.

“Although our economy is not large, we are spending over 2% of our GDP on our armed forced…Our soldiers are fighting international terrorism…We are the largest per capita contributors to the international missions, so…if Georgia joins NATO, this will make the region more predictable and sustainable, which is in the best interests of Russia,” Bakhtadze stated.

By Thea Morrison

20 September 2018 11:19