“To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality.” – John Locke We’re not a member state of NATO, but we are regional neighbors and Partners for Peace. It has been a great privilege to have NATO in our neighborhood: the Alliance has offered us the best international practices in terms of democratic and security sector reform; invited our soldiers for joint trainings; invested in various projects essential for our national interests. For example, NATO helped to decontaminate 5.68 million square meters of area in Azerbaijan and clear some 640,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance. When Georgia or Ukraine found themselves in the midst of a war with Russia, the North Atlantic alliance sided with Tbilisi and Kiev, though pragmatically it had more to lose than to gain by confronting Moscow. Beyond doubt the more challenging moral path is also more rewarding in the long run. Sometimes too much has been expected from the Alliance, but that’s because NATO is the most resourceful and reliable powerhouse available. For East European countries, like Azerbaijan, closer ties with NATO means a more secure and peaceful region for future generations.