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Minister of Defence Hanso: NATO’s “open door policy” will continue

25. May 2016 - 15:24
Minister of Defence Hanso at the security conference in Tbilisi.
Minister of Defence Hanso at the security conference in Tbilisi.

Tbilisi, 24 May 2016 – Today, at the most prestigious security conference in the Tbilisi region, Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso stated that NATO’s “open door policy” will remain in force and that Estonia supports NATO’s expansion.

“There is no universal miracle lift that will magically bring you to your target,” commented Minster of Defence Hanso on Georgia’s attempts to become a member of NATO. “It didn’t exist for Estonia and it doesn’t exist for Georgia, either. One must trudge up the long set of stairs on one’s own. Yes, climbing is exhausting, sometimes even frustrating; however, when you take a look behind you, the road that you have covered gives you strength, helping you to overcome the fatigue and frustration.

According to Minister of Defence Hanso, Georgia’s efforts and the road covered so far in integrating with NATO, and more broadly with the West, have been impressive.

“What is important is that the democratic process works, that there are strong institutions and a state based on the rule of law. These are the building blocks upon which NATO membership can be built,” said Hanso. “Georgia’s strength is that its people and public opinion are strongly in favour of integration with NATO. Estonia has always supported Georgia’s aspirations towards NATO and will continue to do so with advice and encouragement.”

The Georgia Defence and Security Conference has been held for the past ten years, bringing together the most important opinion leaders in security and defence policy. Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso flew to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi from Kuressaare, on a Lithuanian Air Force plane, together with the Ministers of Defence of Latvia and Lithuania.