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NATO membership still looms

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, May 20
Georgia is asking for further clarification and definite terms in connection with its NATO prospects.

Despite the preconditions, Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic course might be set under a question mark.

There is a growing negative tendency towards the permanent hopes of membership in the alliance within the population.

Some Georgians believe that NATO will never accept Georgia due to pressure from the Russian Federation. They question why Georgia should be so vocal about its aspirations for membership within NATO when the organization takes no steps towards Georgia.

Georgia’s parliament Chair Davit Usupashvili stressed that Georgia is as ready for the NATO membership as some countries were several years ago.

Usupashvili has emphasized that in 2016 NATO should act in favour of Georgia and grant the Membership Action Plan (MAP).

“It would be a decisive step and the most adequate response to our intentions,” Usupashvili said.

NATO leadership states that currently Georgia owns all the levers to advance towards NATO, and the levers were provided through the 2014 NATO Wales Summit.

It should be stated that NATO gave no MAP either in 2008 or in 2014; instead in 2014 Georgia was offered a substantive package that, apart from various cooperation suggestions, includes the establishment of a joint training center.

NATO officials recognize Georgia as an active aspirant. However, they refrain from voicing exact dates for giving Georgia MAP.

In response, Usupashvili stresses that unclear statements from NATO might lead the Georgians to disappointment that will be negatively reflected on the Georgian-NATO relations.

The Georgian Parliament Speaker also told NATO that the organization has no other way but to get involved in regional issues, as Georgia is a crucial route for connecting Europe and Asia without Russia”.

Usupashvili also stated that Georgia is ready to host the NATO Spring session in 2017.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s neighbour, NATO member Turkey, has revealed its support to Georgia’s genuine success at the NATO following Summit.

It is hard to say how persuasive the Turkish statement might be for some other members of the organization. Substantial time is left until the NATO Warsaw summit, and many aspects might influence on Georgia’s fate in NATO.