Billionaire-turned-politician, Bidzina Ivanishvili, said President Saakashvili made NATO membership a very far away prospect for Georgia, but he intended “to work actively” in that direction as joining the Alliance “has no alternative” for Georgia.
“Cooperation with NATO is of huge importance for Georgia,” he said in a lengthy interview with the Georgian weekly newspaper, Kviris Palitra, published on November 7. “Unfortunately, Mikheil Saakashvili made NATO [membership] a very faraway prospect. The North Atlantic Alliance deemed not only the defense partnership, but irreversibility and strengthening of democratic processes as a cornerstone of our partnership. But Georgia made steps backwards.”
“Cooperation with NATO is a priority for us. Our goal is to further deepen this cooperation through fostering development of democratic institutions.”
“We will work very actively in order to join NATO, because it has no alternative,” Ivanishvili added.
Since coming into politics Ivanishvili has made several comments on Georgia’s cooperation with NATO, but this is the first time when he directly stated that he supports Georgia’s membership in the Alliance.