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Georgia-NATO, EU and Russian challenge

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 22
Carnegie Europe, a leading analytical organisation, released a transcript of its interview with Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Speaking with Editor-in-Chief of the Strategic Europe blog at the Carnegie Europe, Judy Dempsey, Kvirikashvili focused on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, Georgia-Russia relations and Georgia-European Union (EU) visa liberalisation prospects.

“We don’t see any alternative for ensuring the long-term stability of Georgia beside joining the Euro-Atlantic family of countries,” Kvirikashvili said.

“It’s not only the military dimension that attracts us. There are also common values of democracy and freedom, which motivate us to continue very important reforms that will transform the country into a European country. Nothing can derail us from this track,” the PM added.

Discussing Georgia-North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) relations, the PM stressed that Georgia hoped that the Alliance’s Warsaw summit in Poland on July 8-9 would result in a “broader cooperation package with NATO.”

The PM said the new cooperation would allow the Georgian Government to strengthen Georgia’s defence capabilities.

“And I think that someday in the future, the window of opportunity will be open for Georgia,” the PM added.

When it came to Georgia-EU visa-free travel the PM said introducing the visa-liberalisation was just a “matter of time.”

“We may have to wait a couple more months to put in place the snap-back mechanisms and then, hopefully, in September the final decision will be made by the European Parliament,” Kvirikashvili stated.

Touching upon Georgia-Russia relations after the Russia-Georgia war of 2008, the PM said the Georgian Government strived for constructive relations with Russia but never at the expense of changing Georgia’s Western course.

“We want to restore normal relations. And again, for this, we would need to follow our own path,” Kvirikashvili said, highlighted the importance of peaceful solution of conflicts.

Carnegie Europe was founded in 2007 and has become the go-to source for European foreign policy analysis in Brussels on topics ranging from Turkey to the Middle East and the Eastern neighbourhood to security and defence.

Georgia-EU, Georgia-NATO and Russia-Georgia relations are three challenging aspects for Georgia.

Georgia strives for constructive relations with Russia and says that confrontation can provide instability.

However, Russia's intent towards Georgia cannot be underestimated; Russian forces were ready to invade Tbilisi during the Russia-Georgia war of 2008 before being recalled.

Russia is also against Georgia’s EU and NATO aspirations and never misses an opportunity to describe Georgia's ambitions as damaging the regional peace.

All that Georgia can do is maintain stability and continue towards membership in the Euro-Atlantic space, hoping that the international community will one day see fit to admit the country.