The accession of Georgia to NATO, which is expected to take place in 2021, will require “huge” expenses from Russia, stated Andrey Kelin, Director of the Department of European Cooperation of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
According to Kelin, Georgia's decision to become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance is viewed by Moscow as a problem and to resolve it Russia would require additional investments in defense.
“We will have to form a defense zone near Sochi,” Kelin said, adding that "it is inevitable’ and it will require ‘huge resources".
It is necessary to "prevent any possible actions by the potential opponent", the politician explained.
Russia will have to face the same problem if Ukraine joins NATO. The border with Ukraine “Is not equipped at all”, he said. It is necessary to build defensive echelons and transfer defensive structures to the south, Kelin said. He said that he hopes that neither Kyiv nor Tbilisi will become members of the Alliance in the near future.
NATO "fully supports" the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Tbilisi, and "Georgia will become a member of NATO," said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a visit to the country in July.
The organization is impressed with the progress of the country on the path of reforms, Stoltenberg said. The organization’s Secretary General also thanked Tbilisi for the contribution that the country makes to the stability of the Black Sea region.
At the end of May, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili expressed hope that the country would join NATO in 2021.