Ukraine puts Georgia’s MAP prospects in new light
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 5Georgia is anticipating that it will be granted the membership action plan (MAP) from NATO at the upcoming September summit in Wales, Great Britain. Georgia has many supporters among NATO members. However, it is difficult to say what will happen in autumn.
Some consider that the Ukrainian developments will accelerate NATO’s support for Georgia, but others remain skeptical suggesting that for the time being, NATO should refrain from granting MAP to Georgia. If this is the case, it will further hinder Georgia’s move towards the West.
This issue has become popular in recent times because the analysts remember very well that at the April 2008 NATO Bucharest summit, its request for MAP was rejected, and in turn gave Russia a green light to attack Georgia just four months later.
However, Georgia was promised NATO membership, but a timetable was not discussed. Many analysts suggest that the key player in the end was Russia.
Russia does not want Georgia to become a NATO member, and certain NATO-member states are against Georgia receiving MAP.
Since 2008 Georgia has taken large steps forward. It achieved democratic elections, and the presidential elections were held in a democratic atmosphere. Georgia also participates in the NATO peacekeeping mission in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also ready to take part in a mission in the Central African Republic. Thus, Georgia complies with the NATO request in the humanitarian, civil society and military directions.
So, what is the problem? With the Ukrainian events in the background, different thoughts have emerged.
Is NATO afraid of Moscow? It is hard to believe. Probably, NATO-member countries have different interests apart from being NATO members. For instance, the EU-member states are cautious in applying economic sanctions against Moscow saying that these sanctions might damage their own economies as well.
Almost half of Germany’s energy comes from Russia. France announced that it will continue building the Mistral warship – an order from Russia, despite the recent Ukrainian developments.
Either way, Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his brazen interference in the business of former Soviet states, and it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.
Former US Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski draws parallels between Ukraine and Adolf Hitler taking over the territory of then Czechoslovakia in 1938. Brzezinski said that the world will regret that they did not do enough like in 1938.
First it was Georgia in 2008. The international community did nothing. Now it is Ukraine’s turn. Will the West sit on its hands like they did in 2008? If so, it will be a bitter pill to swallow for everyone.
Russia might try to finish the job it started in 2008 by conquering Georgia. Moldova, with its pockets of ethnic Russians, could also be included on Russia’s shopping list.
The current developments in Ukraine also encourage the pro-Russian forces in Georgia, making the MAP issue that much more important for Georgia.
Putting it in terms of Hamlet:
To MAP or not to MAP? This is the question…