“If not the strong opposition of the Ukrainians, and if Mr. Putin had taken Ukraine at the time he was planning, it would have been really dangerous for Moldova and Georgia,” United States Senator Ben Cardin said at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Senator Ben Cardin directed the question to Victoria Nuland, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, during a discussion centered on the ongoing war in Ukraine, asking what official Washington is doing to help Moldova and Georgia.
Cardin suggested, “Putin may be on his way to Moldova and Georgia” next.
“What steps are we taking today to help Moldova and Georgia, recognizing that if the circumstances change and Mr. Putin believes he has the ability, he would not hesitate to cross those borders? He’s already done it in Moldova and Georgia.
“What steps are being taken so that those countries are going to be in the best possible position to defend themselves in the event that Mr. Putin decides he’s going to move more aggressively in those two countries?” the Senator asked.
In her response, Nuland told Cardin that the United States has a long-standing relationship with Georgia on security issues, and that this partnership will continue.
“They [Georgia] have also contributed regularly to all kinds of NATO operations and NATO exercises and have received lots of US military training and equipment over the years, which […] accelerated quite a bit after President Putin’s invasion of Georgia in 2008,” she noted in her reply.
By Ana Dumbadze