Usupashvili: If Georgia says no to NATO, Russia will seize entire Georgia

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Georgia will face higher risks if it refuses to participate in peacekeeping operations, Chairman of Palriament Davit Usupashvili said on 6 June when speaking on TV program Mtavari Tema on Channel 9.

"When our guys go to Afghanistan, of course, all of them face risk. I think, we all realize that, including soldiers and their families. Of course, all additional measures must be undertaken to minimize those risks but the risks will reduce only when the free, democratic world gains the upper hand over terrorism, terrorists, offenders, those people who do not even care for their own lives," Usupashvili said.

According to the chairman of parliament, the democratic world, including Georgia, participates in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan for the very aim of defeating terrorism and the ideology that feeds terrorism.

"We have only two choices: either to fight along with the free world against terrorism or to find ourselves drawn into and involved in that disaster. Being somewhere in between, taking a neutral position, a stance that it is not our concern if something like that - a blast or some disaster happens in other countries, taking lives of civilians, children – if we say that it is not our problem, then this problem will reach Georgia too. That's why it is absolutely necessary to fight against terrorism, to fight against violence, against that ideology which feeds such sentiments, such attitudes - be it based on religious fundamentalism or other topics," Usupashvili declared.

According to the chairman of parliament, the Georgian government must do everything possible to ensure that both the contribution and the casualties of Georgia are adequate: "If the question is whether or not we were to participate in the [ISAF] operation, my answer is: 'yes, we were;' otherwise nothing would have reduced our risks including the risks inside the country – we can stop the occupant aggressor country from further occupying [Georgia] or withdraw it from Georgia only together with the democratic world, no other way exists in that regard. I have heard some saying that if Georgia says no to NATO, Russia will return our territories to us. I am more than sure that in such a case Russia will simply seize the entire territory of Georgia," Davit Usupashvili said.

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