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Georgian leadership on the Lisbon summit

By Messenger Staff
Monday, November 22
The Georgian leadership is quite satisfied with the results of the 19-20 November NATO Lisbon summit; indeed President Saakashvili is particularly pleased with the results.

Once again the Lisbon summit confirmed the West’s support for Georgia, in particular its territorial integrity and sovereignty. While Russia does not seem willing to withdraw from the Georgian territories, the attitude of the world community towards Moscow policy remains rather critical.

Prior to the summit there was speculation that NATO needs Russia’s support and that it would make many concessions in order for Moscow to more actively participate in the Afghanistan operation. Russian analysts even suggested that the Moscow-Washington and Moscow-NATO recent warming would have removed the Georgian issue, but this was not the case. In the new ideas regarding Russia it is stressed that NATO pays strategic importance to cooperation with Moscow. However it was also pointed out that NATO-Russia cooperation should be based on democracy and a respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all the states of Euro-Atlantic area. Respect for territorial integrity is the most problematic issue for Russia in terms of Georgia and further increases the significance of NATO’s decision. In addition we should mention here that just few days ago in Warsaw, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly accepted the resolution that included statements on the fact that Russia is occupying Georgian territories and carried out ethnic cleansing of Georgians. A new strategic concept approved by NATO will determine a NATO action plan for Georgia for the next 10 years. Ukraine was also mentioned, but it is clear that under the current circumstances Ukraine has withdrawn from the race as it refused to continue with the NATO integration policy. The Georgian issue was stressed more with the equilibrium remaining – the doors remain open for Georgia but it is not yet ready to enter.

Although NATO did not grant membership to Georgia in April 2008, which was seen by the Georgians as a serious strategic error by the alliance, a new annual national programme was worked out especially for Georgia which envisages carrying out further democratisation measures in the country.

Within the framework of the NATO summit President Saakashvili met President Barack Obama, who assessed the democratic reforms being carried out in Georgia. He also mentioned that the US is working on the issue of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Of course this situation does not necessarily mean that Russia will automatically withdraw from Georgia’s occupied territories but at least one thing is clear, the majority of world countries do not accept Russia’s policy and its attempt to establish and recognise Georgia’s separatist regions as independent states with puppet regimes.