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Georgia may enter NATO without MAP

By Ernest Petrosyan
Friday, May 11
How realistic it is for Georgia to become a member of NATO while bypassing a membership action plan (MAP)? At a meeting of the Georgia-NATO council a mere ten days before the Chicago summit, it was implied that it is likely Georgia could join NATO without a MAP.

“Georgia, like the Baltic states, is a state of successful transformation. We have been [enacting] these transformations for already 20 years, but Georgia for various reasons needed less time to achieve it. They became a good example in the region,” Zygimantas Pavilionis, the Lithuanian Ambassador to the United States, said at a meeting with Georgian Minister for Reintegration Eka Tkeshelashvili.

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice-President of the Atlantic Council, remarked that “Georgia is considered among the aspirant states, which is important progress, and this consideration should be continued for an open door policy. It is obvious that there is a recognition of the assumed responsibilities and achieved progress in the ISAF mission and NATO-Georgia council work. However I want to hear from the organization that the NATO-Georgia commission that... no additional decisions on a MAP will be needed”.

“We actively implement the action plan which we detailed with NATO. We actively cooperate with the NATO-Georgia commission. For us, this process is the process of approaching NATO with which we are using efficiently. We believe that for [NATO] there are not any hindering issues to accept Georgia by bypassing a MAP,” Tkeshelashvili said.

Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian Ambassador to the US, remarked that such discussions are very important, as they are “a guarantee that in a few years at other summits our case will be considered in a different category. And if something is compromised or postponed now, it will be difficult to do it then”.