NATO PA Expresses Support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration in Declaration

TBILISI – On May 29 NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly (PA) passed a declaration in support of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, urging allied governments to provide “strong political and practical support” as the country moves closer to the Alliance.

By supporting the document, the NATO PA Assembly reaffirmed its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and called on Russia to withdraw its military forces from the illegally occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and also to reverse its recognition of these regions as independent states.

The document also urges Russia to “fulfill its obligations vis-à-vis Georgia and abide by international law; to reciprocate Georgia’s unilateral pledge not to use force and refrain from any provocative and aggressive steps towards Georgia; to facilitate the access of international human rights observers to the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; to allow freedom of movement and trade across the Administrative Boundary Line."

The resolution declares that Georgia’s relationship with the alliance contains all practical tools to prepare for eventual membership, while taking note of the position of allied leaders that Georgia will become a member of NATO through the Membership Action Plan (MAP) as an integral part of the process.

Furthermore, it called for intensified efforts to support Georgia through joint exercises, strengthening defensive capabilities and enhancing its ability to tackle hybrid threats such as propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

The declaration encourages the government of Georgia to continue making full use of all the opportunities to advance its NATO integration process offered by the NATO-Georgia Commission, the Annual National Program, its role as an enhanced opportunities partner, its participation in the Defence Capacity Building Initiative, and the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package.

It also calls on Georgian authorities to maintain the course of strengthening democratic institutions, maintaining the system of checks and balances, bolstering an independent judiciary, preserving media pluralism as well as enhancing dialogue and reducing tensions between the ruling and opposition parties.

Paolo Alli, President of the NATO PA stated that Georgia belongs in the Euro-Atlantic community of nations.

He also added that the imminent entry of Montenegro into NATO was an example for Georgia’s aspirations. 

“It sends a clear signal that NATO’s door is indeed open, and that no amount of outside pressure can prevent aspirants from pursuing their membership goal,” he added.

Rasa Jukneviciene, the Lithuanian lawmaker who presented the declaration stated that “Georgia needs all the support it can get to resist the aggression of Russia.”

The four-day meeting in Tbilisi marked only the fifth time in its six-decade history that the NATO PA has held a session outside the trans-Atlantic Alliance.

Alli and several other lawmakers visited the boundary line dividing occupied South Ossetia from the rest of Georgia, barely an hour’s drive from Tbilisi.


NATO lawmakers also expressed support for Ukraine as it confronts Russian aggression. Andriy Parubiy, chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament addressed the Assembly. “Ukraine and Georgia are on the frontline, they are like strongholds of the free world, stopping the aggressor,” he said. “Integration into NATO is our way to liberty.”

NATO PA started in Tbilisi on May 26 and it has concluded today by adopting the resolution.

By Thea Morrison

29 May 2017 15:17