Georgian analysts, politicians and media have been discussing the possibility of Georgia receiving the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) for the last several years.
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, February 13
Although this is not a guarantee for the country to become member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, still this step is recognized as a final stop to the country’s entrance into NATO.
Many in Georgia think that the refusal of NATO to grant the MAP to Georgia at the Bucharest Summit in 2008 gave the green light to Russia to attack Georgia militarily and occupy its territories.
In September 2014, the UK will host the next NATO summit in Wales, and although Georgian officials realize that there is almost no chance for the country to receive the MAP, a negative decision would further frustrate the hopes and enthusiasm of Georgian citizens.
This is the reality.
Currently, the activation of the MAP issue was connected with the statement of 42 US senators to the US Secretary of State over granting Georgia some viable status in its strive towards NATO membership.
Meanwhile, Georgia is being visited by a senior ranking NATO delegation. As the officials of the Georgian Defence Ministry have said, this is a very important visit. The guests will be able to get acquainted with the reforms and readiness of the country to integrate with NATO on the ground.
Georgian officials have graciously accepted the supportive letter of the US congressmen and express their hope that this statement will further facilitate the process of getting closer to NATO.
Georgian NGOs also express their enthusiasm concerning the US congressional representatives’ letter. Contrary to such enthusiasm, there are skeptical opinions in Georgia as well.
This opinion suggests that the major obstacle for NATO to allow Georgia’s entrance is Russia, which is absolutely against NATO’s further enlargement towards the East.
And those skeptics suggest that there will always be found certain countries among NATO members who will retreat under Russian pressure and block Georgia’s claim to receive the MAP.
Of course, the congressmen’s letter might not influence NATO’s final decision and the country might not be able to get the MAP, however, this letter is a clear demonstration that the US offers its utmost support to Georgia and this could be a kind of a guarantor, which could prevent Russia from further oppressing Georgia.
However, this could be a wrong perception because sometimes Russia is very straightforward and arrogant. For instance, Russia’s current Prime Minister, Dimitry Medvedev, said commenting about the war of 2008 that Russia started a campaign against Georgia in order to prevent its admission into NATO.
To sum up, Georgian society, at least its majority, will be happy to see Georgia in NATO. However, many of these people do not really anticipate this idea because it considers that NATO would rather not irritate Russia and take this step.
The forthcoming NATO summit will provide certain answers to this question.