Georgia Says Not Interested in Hosting NATO Antimissile Systems

Source: Global Security Newswire, 28 May 2014

Georgia is not interested in hosting NATO antimissile systems on its territory, despite Russian claims to the contrary, the Trend News Agency reported on Tuesday.
 
"Moscow is likely to be well informed about this," said Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister's special envoy on Russian relations, in denying that his government held aspirations of missile defence cooperation with NATO.
 
Russia last week voiced concern that Georgia was trying to convince the Western military alliance to deploy missile defence systems on its soil.
 
"We are very alarmed over" recent appeals made by Tbilisi asking for the deployment of a "US or NATO missile defence system in Georgia," Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was quoted by ITAR-Tass as saying on May 22.
 
Moscow was responding to a comment made in early May by Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania during a trip to Washington, where he urged NATO to admit his country into the alliance and to place "purely defensive assets in aspirant countries and predominantly in Georgia," including "air defence capabilities," according to the Messenger newspaper.
 
A few years ago, Georgia unsuccessfully campaigned to be the host of a US early warning radar that was eventually deployed to Turkey as part of the United States' "phased adaptive approach" for European missile defence.