Georgian president says country's security depends on closer EU, NATO ties

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TBILISI, Georgia — The president of the former Soviet republic of Georgia says the country will continue its push for deepening relations with NATO and the European Union.

The assertion by President Giorgi Margvelashvili in his state of the nation address to parliament on Tuesday comes amid concerns in countries bordering Russia about Moscow's involvement in the Ukraine crisis and Russia's increasing denunciation of the Western military alliance.

Margvelashvili said "the security and well-being of Georgia are tied directly to European and Euroatlantic integration."

Russia's annexation of Crimea a year ago and its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine have unsettled Georgia, which fought a brief war with Russia in 2008, in which it lost control of two separatist regions which now are increasing their ties with Russia.

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