17:39 GMT +319 October 2019
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    Georgian soldiers stand in formation during the inauguration ceremony of the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center at the Krtsanisi military training base, outside Tbilisi, on August 27, 2015

    Georgia's Chances to Join NATO Grow - Lawmaker

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    Georgia's chances to become a NATO member-state increase as Tbilisi steps up the democratic reforms in the country, the head of the Georgian parliament's foreign relations committee told Sputnik Saturday on the sidelines of the Warsaw Summit Experts' Forum.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) — Tedo Japaridze added that Georgia should "keep going, developing its own country and be patient."

    "Georgia's NATO membership depends on how Georgia performs. NATO is not only about military capacity but it is also about democratic institutions. If Georgia continues to move in the right direction in this regard, it will increase chances to become a member but many things also depend on NATO and its political will or strategic interests," he said at the forum, held on the margins of the NATO summit.

    "NATO membership can happen any time, may happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in 5 years," Japaridze noted.

    According to the parliamentarian, Georgia welcomes Montenegro's admission to NATO and hopes that in the near future the Alliance will also accept both Georgia and Ukraine.

    Cooperation between Georgia and NATO has officially begun in 1994 when the country became a member of the Partnership for Peace program. Since 2004, the cooperation has become much closer. In April 2008, at the NATO Bucharest Summit, the allied heads of state and government agreed to Georgia becoming a NATO member in the future.


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