Georgia: NATO Chief Reassures Russia on Georgia
Georgia does not plan to avenge the 2008 Russian invasion and reclaim the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by force, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rassmusen assured a radio audience in Moscow on December 16.
"I do not think that the huge Russian Federation must feel that it is threatened by little Georgia," Rassmusen said during an interview broadcast by Ekho Moskvy radio. He added that Georgia, contingent on its compliance with membership requirements, will join the Atlantic Alliance, and he repeated past assurances that NATO means no harm to Russia.
Continuing on a conciliatory note, Rassmusen said that differences over Georgia should not "paralyze" ties between the Kremlin and NATO. He said the organization counts on Russia's support in Afghanistan and other challenges to global security. Moscow has been long leery of NATO's eastern expansion; the 2008 war has revived some semblance of Cold War-style tensions between Russia and the Alliance.