US President Barack Obama could not have said anything more disappointing for Georgians than that they are "not on a path to NATO membership."
At the very least, the March 26 remark, made also in reference to Ukraine, has put Georgia, the closest US ally in the strategic South Caucasus, in an awkward position.
As Georgian voters, long sold on the idea of NATO membership, turned surprised eyes on the government, officials scrambled to explain this uncomfortable moment.
Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze hurried to tell reporters that Obama did not say that neither Ukraine nor Georgia are on the path to NATO, although this is almost verbatim what Obama did say.
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