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Foreign relation priorities for Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 19
There is continual speculation concerning Georgia’s foreign orientation. The current government is promoting the idea that Georgia can on the one hand manage to maintain the country's pro-Western orientation and on the other normalize relations with Russia.

Since regaining independence in the 1990s, almost all Georgian politicians have expressed a desire to integrate with Euro-Atlantic structures; exactly when this will happen is as yet undetermined.

Different polls over the years have confirmed that an overwhelming majority of Georgia's population desire closer ties with the West. Most of the population supports the idea of Georgia becoming a member of the EU and NATO.

However, nobody in the country can realistically state when Georgia will join either organization.

Almost unanimously the Georgian population identifies the Russian Federation as the major threat to Georgia. Although some think the threat is exaggerated the majority think Russia is a real and present danger to Georgia's security.

However, most of the Georgian population also thinks that normalizing relations with its northern neighbor is absolutely necessary. Therefore, the current policy promoted by the new Georgian government of improving relations with Russia is mostly supported.

There are hopes that the recent moves by the Georgian government which have resulted in the return of Georgian products to the Russian market will eventually contribute to the restoration of diplomatic ties between Moscow and Tbilisi and eventually lead to the restoration of Georgia's territorial integrity. But no detailed plans or steps have been taken in this direction so far.

Moreover, no politicians and analysts can precisely explain how normalizing relations with Moscow will result in the restoration of Georgian territorial integrity.

Some skeptics think Russia is too unpredictable and might act suddenly in a way that destroys the existing equilibrium.