Chairman of the State Duma (the lower house of parliament) committee for CIS affairs and ties with countrymen Andrei Kokoshin believes that it would be more logical for Georgia to strive for joining the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) than NATO. The CSTO incorporates Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
"It would be more logical for Georgia to strive for joining the CSTO since the new Georgian leadership has said many times of late about its friendly feelings towards Russia, and its recognition of Russia's leading role in ensuring security and stability in the region," Kokoshin said on Tuesday in an interview with RIA Novosti.
According to him, the CSTO is more modern and flexible organization than NATO, which was created after the cold war period and therefore is not burdened by the past events."
Kokoshin believes that the attempts of Georgian and some other CIS countries' representatives to use Russia-NATO cooperation as an argument in favor of its entering NATO are "groundless and illogical." "Russia cooperates with NATO in combating terrorism, in non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and in some other areas where this cooperation is mutually beneficial and equal. But this is achieved not always," Kokoshin explained.
He also pointed out that "Russian and foreign experts differently assess the effectiveness of such cooperation inside NATO as well, not to mention its interaction with external partners."
"The overwhelming majority of State Duma deputies have a negative attitude to statements made by some Georgian officials about the plans of its joining NATO," Kokoshin stressed.