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Georgia awaits concrete steps from NATO

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 8
NATO chairperson Anders Fogh Rasmussen has accused Russia of stirring-up conflicts in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The Georgian side has immediately responded to the statement. Of course Rasmussen’s allegation was nothing new for most Georgians. However, Georgian officials are waiting for NATO to take concrete steps in the interest of promoting Georgia’s security.

“Ever since the collapse of Communism, NATO has made efforts to engage with Moscow, offering more cooperation on more issues than to any other non-NATO country, and striving towards a strategic partnership. Russia’s response has been to tear up the rule book, stir-up conflict in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, and challenge the rules-based international order,” Rasmussen said.

Unfortunately, when Russia was violating international norms and the rule of law, the international community ignored this aggression, choosing instead to safeguard their relations with Russia. The West also closed its eyes to Russia’s colonialist intentions in Georgia in August 2008, followed by more large-scale aggression in Ukraine in 2014. The latest Russian moves were too much: the West was forced to pay attention this time.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze admits that the attitude towards Russia is significantly stricter on behalf of the United States and the West compared to previous years. Georgian official stresses that the strong statements have consequently resulted in sanctions against Russia.

Georgia’s Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili hopes that the statements made by Rasmussen will be followed by concrete steps from the alliance in terms of Georgia’s encouragement at the NATO Summit in Wales this September.

Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania believes that the recent statements made by NATO chairs will define the topics for the NATO’s next summit. Alasania thinks that the issues will be related to swift reactions from the alliance side in the case of Russian aggressions. The minister emphasizes that Georgia will also be involved in the process, as Georgia will be part of NATO’s Rapid Reaction Force in the following years.

All in all, NATO’s stricter tone to Russia creates more hopes for Georgia with regard to deeper relations with the alliance. For some people, the deeper relations are interpreted as offering the Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia.