Anders Fogh Rasmussen: Conducting free and fair election and holding it according to high democratic standards is a prerequisite for NATO membership

Conducting free and fair election and holding it according to high democratic standards is a prerequisite for NATO membership, - said former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, at a virtual press conference.

According to Rasmussen, it is impossible to prevent the attempt of external forces to intervene, but the Georgian government should oppose this attempt.

"We will not allow the Kremlin to have tools in terms of elections interference to block Georgia's path towards NATO and EU membership", - Rasmussen said.

The former NATO Secretary General also spoke about Georgia's achievements and noted that Georgia meets the strict criteria required for NATO membership.

"Military standards are already very high and in line with NATO standards. In addition, a lot have been done in the civil sector too to bring the country closer to NATO standards. So, from this perspective, you are preparing the ground", - Rasmussen said.

As Rasmussen noted, Russia should not be allowed to influence Georgia's choice to become a member of the European Union and NATO.

"We must not allow Russia to block Georgia's decision to join the European Union or NATO. Georgia's progress on the EU path is up to Tbilisi and Brussels, not the Kremlin", - stressed Rasmussen.

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