Lavrov criticizes Georgia’s NATO aspirations
By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 26Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has recently criticized Georgia’s efforts to join NATO and the overall NATO policy of enlargement. Lavrov claims he does not understand why Georgia needs NATO membership.
That the foreign minister of a country which has encouraged separatism in Georgia for the last 25 years and which currently occupies one fifth of Georgian territory should express bemusement at Georgia's desire to join NATO is absurdly cynical and hypocritical.
According to Lavrov, his map recognizes Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries whose security Russia is deeply concerned about.
The essence of Russian security is based on the imperialistic policy of an occupying country. What can Georgia do to counterbalance "Russia security models"? The only possible solution for Georgia is to find shelter among democratic countries which can guarantee Georgia's sovereignty against the Russian embrace.
The Georgian media has recently begun speculation about Russia increasing its military presence in the North Caucasus. Of course the Georgian public does not feel very comfortable about any increased Russian military presence in the region.
Every single sentence uttered by Minister Lavrov concerning the security situation in the Caucasus sounds cynical and hypocritical. Lavrov thinks that further enlargement of NATO could increase tensions. There is really only one risk: Georgia managing to ensure its sovereignty and protecting itself from Russian aggression.
Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze has answered Lavrov's question by stating that Georgia knows very well why it needs NATO membership.
There is one major problem from the Georgian side. The Georgian Dream government has promised to continue to pursue NATO membership on the one hand and on the other, normalize Georgia’s relations with Russia.
It should be mentioned that Russia openly demands that Georgia give up its ambition to join NATO but does not guarantee or even give a hint that it will facilitate restoration of Georgian territorial integrity.
Russia wants Georgia to recognize its lost territories as independent entities as well as wanting Georgia to remain outside NATO. Thus it effectively wants Georgia to return to the Russian orbit.
Meanwhile various polls have shown the Georgian public's continuing support of the country’s aspiration to join NATO. But the question of how Georgia will normalize relations with Russia while at the same time moving closer to NATO remains. This dilemma will be difficult to solve but hopefully not impossible.