Azerbaijanís NATO chances
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 11EurasiaNet reports that in the near future Azerbaijan is more likely to join NATO than Georgia and Ukraine. It claims this information was received from a high ranking NATO official, who said that although Brussels once considered that Georgia would enter NATO before Azerbaijan the position is now reversed.
After the Russian invasion of Georgia many NATO member countries are very sceptical about the possibility of Georgia joining them. In Ukraine political instability and a sometimes negative attitude towards NATO among the population have decreased its integration chances. EurasiaNet says Azerbaijan is a stable country, rapidly integrating with Turkey and strategically very important due to its gas pipeline projects: NABUCCO and others. If Azerbaijan expresses a commitment to join NATO neither the Alliance nor Russia will prevent it doing so.
The anonymous source said many at NATO HQ positively assessed the possible integration of Azerbaijan into NATO, with Turkey, Romania, Poland, the UK and Baltic countries supporting the idea. Unlike Georgia and Ukraine Azerbaijan conducts a balanced policy, friendly to both the West and Moscow. It is now fulfilling its IPAP programme commitments.
It is difficult to estimate how reliable the source of this information is but it is very challenging for Georgia in particular.