The German Chancellor Angela Merkel excluded the possibility that Georgia could join NATO soon, reported the Voice of America. "I do not see any possibility of Georgia’s joining NATO. This is Germany’s position,” Merkel stated at a meeting with the students of Tbilisi State University.
"Such things happen gradually,” she said while commenting on the possibility of Georgia’s membership in NATO.
At the Summit Bucharest in 2008, the leaders of NATO stated that at some point, Georgia will become an Alliance member, but the country was not allowed to start formal application for the membership in the Alliance because of pressure from Merkel and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Georgia’s desire to join NATO provoked a strong reaction from Russia. After the war in 2008, Russia recognized separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent and deployed permanent military bases there. According to Merkel, this step was tantamount to "occupation of twenty percent of Georgia’s territory and a great injustice."
On Friday, Merkel made a symbolic gesture by visiting the administrative border with South Ossetia where Russian border guards fenced the area with barbed wire. Merkel had earlier demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia. "What happens in Georgia is unjust, and Putin knows my position,” she stated at the press-conference in Tbilisi.
In May, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called Georgia and Ukraine particularly valuable and very close partners of NATO. Ukraine and Georgia intend to join forces to apply for the EU and NATO membership.