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Georgia still optimistic about Chicago

By Messenger Staff
Monday, April 23
Nothing significant has changed between NATO and Georgia, but still Georgia’s leadership expects something from the alliance at their summit in Chicago next month. Even just the a repetition of the promise that Georgia will eventually be granted membership – which is likely all they'll get this spring.

In the lead-up to the summit, Moscow has been making disparaging remarks about Georgia, specifically about its "aggressiveness" in the region. In 2008, Russia was able to derail Georgia's NATO aspirations temporarily by attacking and then occupying the country. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has many times stated that his country is against NATO's mentorship of Georgia and, in particular, its support of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Lavrov stated that NATO's Bucharest summit decision in April 2008 in fact encouraged Georgia to move into South Ossetia in August; although it more likely that the decision not to grant Georgia a membership action plan (MAP) encouraged Russia to hasten its aggressive moves and attack Georgia. Otherwise, Georgia would have been more integrated into NATO and that would have been a more dangerous move for Moscow. This year, the Kremlin appears only to be using a war of words, but it's clear that the international community knows that they are the true aggressor and provocateur.

On April 19, Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze noted a series of topics that he says will be touched upon at the Chicago summit. NATO will officially re-confirmed its Bucharest summit decision, that Georgia will eventually be allowed to join the alliance. At a meeting between NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and President Mikheil Saakashvili, this position was again made clear.

Moscow may believe that its anti-Georgian rhetoric can stop NATO from deepening its cooperation with Georgia, it is unlikely that the alliance will change its mind to suit Kremlin demands.