Georgia is on the "path" to join the EU
Tbilisi press wasn't surprised by the first international visit of the new prime minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze. As expected, at the invitation of NATO and the EU, he headed to Brussels. That's how Bakhtadze, whom opposition accuses of being "pro-Russian" (arguing that 36-year-old prime minister was at one time studying at the Moscow State University), wanted to demonstrate his loyalty to the long-term course, chosen by Georgian elites and dedicated to joining NATO and the EU.
During joint press conference with head of Georgian government, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said expected things about the fact that Caucasian country "will join NATO sooner or later", thanked Georgian leadership for "great contribution" to peacekeeping operations, including in Afghanistan, and praised professionalism of Georgian soldiers and officers in the combat zones.
He announced new large-scale exercises that will be held Georgia on August 1 with participation of the NATO member states. In addition to NATO countries, Azerbaijan and Armenia will also participate in these drills. At least this information was published on the Georgian Defense Ministry's website. No one can tell if it's real for sure: last year, participation of the Armenian Armed Forces was also announced, but Armenian side refused to participate at the last moment. The next few days will show what will happen.
During meetings at the NATO headquarters, prime minister tried to somehow clarify famous statement of previous US president Barack Obama that "Georgia is not on the path leading to NATO." In recent years Georgian leaders have demonstrated that they have already paved this "path" to Brussels, and that it leads not only to the military-political bloc, but also to the European Union.
Bakhtadze also held meeting with head of the European Council Donald Tusk. According to Tusk, Georgia can peacefully resolve conflicts with Abkhazia and South Ossetia with the help of peacekeeping programs, developed jointly with the EU.