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Opposition Calls to Stand Firm on NATO Integration
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 13 Jun.'06 / 15:37

In a joint declaration issued on June 13 the opposition Republican and Conservative parties called on the authorities not to compromise on Georgia’s NATO aspiration and, at the same time, to avoid “artificial” tensions with Russia.

The declaration reads that Russia is not expected to change its stance and start relations with its neighboring post-Soviet states in accordance with “democratic standards,” hence Georgia should become part of a strong international alliance which will be a guarantee of Georgia’s security and territorial integrity.

“NATO membership is not a matter of days or months. Even if the most favorable conditions existed the achievement of this goal would still take years. But during this period Georgia should engage in an intensified dialogue, not only with NATO but with Russia as well,” the declaration reads.

“It is inadmissible to both make compromises on the way towards this goal and to artificially strain relations with Russia through humiliating its citizens or leadership through actions or statements.”

The declaration also notes that the Georgian leadership has not yet realized that the strengthening of democratic institutions in the country should precede the NATO integration process.

“Georgia’s integration into NATO and normalization of relations with Russia are strategic and long-term geopolitical goals… All the political parties (whether they are in the government or not) which share this position [on NATO integration] should secure implementation of this goal through joint efforts,” the declaration reads.

The Republican and Conservative parties issued their joint declaration on the eve of talks between the Georgian and Russian Presidents, which will take place in the evening of June 13 in St. Petersburg.

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