Nečas lends support to Georgian NATO bid

Prime Minister Petr Nečas has told his Georgian counterpart, Nika Gilauri, that the Czech Republic supports Georgia’s bid for NATO membership. In a statement likely to irritate the Caucasus country’s northern neighbour, Russia, Mr Nečas told Prime Minister Gilauri that the Czech Republic – like other former Soviet-bloc countries – had had to overcome the same kind of Russian opposition to their joining NATO. Those countries’ membership, he said, contributed to the security and stability of Europe and did not lead to a conflict with Russia. The Russian Federation has long opposed Georgia’s aspiration to join the alliance, primarily because of its numerous border disputes with the country, which led to open military conflict in 2008. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will be visiting the Czech Republic at the beginning of December.