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    Georgian national and EU flags projected on the wall of the Metekhi Church with a monument to Vakhtang I Gorgasali, a king of Iberia, right, during a concert marking the signing of the association with EU agreement in Tbilisi, Georgia, Friday, June 27, 2014

    Around 80% of Georgians Back EU, NATO Membership - Poll

    © AP Photo / Shakh Aivazov
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    2013

    TBILISI (Sputnik) - About 80 percent of Georgian citizens stand behind the country's aspiration to join the European Union and NATO, the highest figure recorded since 2013, a poll carried out by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRCC) Georgia showed on Monday.

    According to the poll, which was conducted by the CRCC for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), 83 percent of Georgians said they approved of the country's goal to join the European Union, 9 percent rejected the idea, while the remaining 7 percent said that they did not care.

    Meanwhile, 78 percent of Georgians said they supported the government's stated goal to become a NATO member, 13 percent said they disagreed with the objective, while 9 percent turned out to be indifferent on the matter.

    Laura Thornton, the NDI resident director in Georgia, said that the level of support for the government's goal to join the European Union and NATO was the highest since 2013, adding that such unprecedented support for both blocs was shown even in the regions inhabited by minorities, who often complain about the government policy.

    EU and NATO membership has been among the priorities of Georgia's foreign policy. Brussels and Tbilisi signed the EU-Georgia Association Agreement in 2014, which entered into force two years later. In March 2017, the European Union allowed visa-free travel for all Georgian citizens for a period of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

    READ MORE: Russian Prime Minister Warns NATO Against Accepting Georgia

    The cooperation between Georgia and NATO began soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union when the country joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in 1992 and NATO's Partnership for Peace program two years later. In 2008, NATO leaders decided that Georgia might become a member of the bloc provided the country met all the necessary requirements. As Georgia continues its path toward NATO integration, it has been assisted by the NATO-Georgia Commission, which was established in 2008 to support the country in its reform efforts.

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