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NATO chief: Russia has no say on Georgia membership issue

Associated Press Associated Press 7/09/2016

TBILISI, Georgia — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has dismissed claims that NATO is dragging its feet on Georgia's bid to join the alliance for fear of enraging Russia.

Stoltenberg visited Georgia Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. Asked about the role of Russia in NATO's decision-making over Georgia, he said it is only up to NATO members and Georgia to decide and "no one else has the right to interfere or try to veto that process."

However, he didn't give any indication of when the former Soviet republic could expect a membership in the military alliance.

Moscow has vigorously opposed the aspirations of some former Soviet nations like Georgia to join NATO, viewing it as a threat to its national security.

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