Ambassador Ian Kelly’s comment to media following the presentation of the The Heritage Foundation report “NATO Membership for Georgia: It Is in the of U.S. and European Interest.” (February 8)
Q-n about the Heritage Foundation report suggesting temporary suspension of Article 5 toward Georgia’s occupied territories
Ambassador Kelly: First of all, I would say that no one should doubt the United States’ commitment to recognizing Georgia’s internationally recognized borders. Obviously, what is important to us is the territorial integrity of Georgia. I think you should ask Mr. Coffey what he means by that. This is completely a sovereign decision of Georgia how it wants to enter NATO. We are going to be supportive, we have always been supportive, but it is a sovereign decision how this all works out. Let us not get ahead of ourselves, too. This is not a decision we have to make now.
Q-n about a possible threat from Russia: propaganda and strengthening military in the occupied territories in case of such a decision
Ambassador Kelly: That is something that you are going to have to ask the Russians. I happen to think that NATO is no threat to Russia, it is not a threat to any country in Europe. I don’t think that we should base our decisions on what Russia may or may not do. NATO has an open door policy, it is open to states that have met the requirements. The Secretary General of NATO said that Georgia has all the tools that it needs to become a member of NATO. So, let us make our decisions based on the facts.