Georgia’s NATO dreams
By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 27Georgia officially submitted its application to join NATO at the end of the last century. This took place when Georgia’s President was Eduard Shevardnadze.
By then, Georgia had enjoyed independence since 1991; however, this independence was challenged by the Russian Federation which opposed the claims of Georgia to stay and remain completely free from Russian influence. The collapse of the Soviet Union took place against the imperialistic sentiments of the Russian Federation. To prevent it, Russia activated time bombs which were hidden since the early days of the USSR in the 1920s of the last century by comrade Stalin and his wicked team who prepared these time bombs to explode when any of the
Soviet republics would take steps towards real independence. So while claiming independence, the Soviet republics received different kinds of conflicts. Georgia suffered most of all. It suffered two conflicts with serious military developments; one in Abkhazia, and another in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region. In both of them, separatist movements were supported and encouraged by Russia. It introduced arms and mercenaries in those regions, distributed Russian passports granting Russian citizenship to the local population. A couple of years after declaring independence, Georgia had two military conflicts within the country unleashed by Moscow. So the decision to join NATO appeared in Georgia as a means to protect itself from the Kremlin; sheltered by NATO, Georgia could feel more secure and able to develop its economy and achieve welfare. But NATO did not want to irritate Moscow, therefore it put many different preconditions in front of Georgia. Though the country diligently fulfilled the alliance's demands and has contributed to NATO missions all over the world, membership is consistently denied.
In April 2008 at the NATO Bucharest summit, Georgia was promised that it would become a NATO member, although it was not specified when this would happen; Tbilisi stood at the open doors of the alliance but it was not allowed in. It was an embarrassing and humiliating position for Georgia. Moreover, when Moscow saw that Georgia was not invited to join NATO but had been assured of eventual membership, it organized a well-prepared provocation and trapped Georgia into a bloody military conflict. As a result, two regions of Georgia separated from the country and declared independence. Their separatist bids were immediately recognized by Moscow. Now Russia occupies 20% of Georgia's territory, which is now full of Russian soldiers and military hardware. Russia knows very well that while there is a dispute over the territory between the countries, they have zero chance to join NATO. Either NATO has to change its charter or Georgia has to accept the loss of its two regions.
Now Georgia is in the same position as eight years ago, although its Defence Minister Tina Khidasheli said that Georgia does not want to receive an Membership Action Plan; she claims Georgia deserves full NATO membership outright.
Nevertheless, Georgia still bids on its NATO dreams hoping that soon they will come true.