Georgia is ready to join NATO, the country should become a member of the alliance in the near future. This was stated on the eve of the former commander of the US ground forces in Europe, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges in the framework of the Kiev Security Forum.
Regarding Ukraine, the general noted that “we need to go a little more way and continue to make efforts to strengthen our integration with NATO.”
“I believe that Georgia should become a NATO member right now. It will take a little longer for Ukraine,” Hodges said.
In a press conference held on October 21 ahead of the meetings of NATO Defense Ministers, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said “Georgia and Ukraine are highly valued partners” for the Alliance for many reasons, including the increased strategic importance of the Black Sea region.
NATO Secretary-General responded to Interfax-Ukraine journalist, who asked whether the NATO 2030 report will reflect the interests of aspirant countries Ukraine and Georgia, confirming that he will, among others, consult with both countries before putting forward his proposals to NATO heads of state and government.
“To work closely with and to discuss with and listen to a partner like Ukraine or Georgia is an important part of the whole NATO 2030 process,” Secretary-General Stoltenberg reiterated.
NATO 2030 process, involving reflection on strengthening the Alliance to face future challenges, was introduced by the NATO Secretary-General in June this year. The process is supported by the Expert Group that will deliver its report before the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in December.