By Meryem Goktas
Speaking at a NATO summit, the alliance’s chief on Thursday said that Georgia will join its ranks.
At a joint press conference in Brussels alongside Georgian President Giorgi Margverlashvili, Jens Stoltenberg said that the allied leaders reaffirmed the move on Wednesday.
Praising the progress Georgia is making on reforms, Stoltenberg said that NATO will continue to work with its government to prepare the country for membership.
Earlier, during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Stoltenberg said that the situation in eastern Ukraine remains "serious".
"NATO is firm in our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And we strongly condemn Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea," he added.
Russia’s 2014 illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region led Western powers, including the U.S., to impose sanctions on Moscow.
Along with the UN General Assembly, the U.S., the EU, and Turkey also do not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.
Since the annexation, Ukraine has been wracked by conflict in its eastern regions with Russian-backed separatists, leading to more than 10,000 deaths, according to the UN.
A two-day NATO summit started on Wednesday with the attendance of 29 NATO heads of state and government to make important decisions on the future of the alliance.
The summit is discussing important decisions on the alliance’s future and other major topics, including strengthening deterrence and defense, counter-terrorism and stability, strengthening cooperation with the EU, modernization, sharing responsibility and common values, and the transatlantic union.