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Georgia has better progress towards NATO than Ukraine, but…

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, September 19
“Georgia has better progress than Ukraine, but I do not think that NATO is ready to accept Georgia as a member,” the US State Department's special representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, said in an interview with the Kviris Palitra local newspaper.

As he said, neither Ukraine nor Georgia is ready for NATO membership.

Unlike Ukraine, other countries did much for reforming democratic institutions, fighting corruption, reforming the judiciary; Ukraine is still on this road.

As for Georgia, as Kurt Volker said, his efforts are aimed at ensuring proper support for Georgia and Ukraine in the EU and NATO.

"Today Georgia is not ready to become a NATO member. Georgia has better progress compared to Ukraine; I mean transparency, the contribution … to global security, reforms in defense area, fight against corruption,” Volker said.

“However, I do not think that anyone in NATO says today that we are ready to accept Georgia as a member. Georgia must be successful, transparent and democratic like NATO countries, and it should be ready for NATO’s decision,” he added.

Volker mentioned the example of the Baltic States: In 1999 they were told that it was impossible to join NATO, but in 2002 they were invited into NATO. The consensus of all member states is needed for becoming a member of NATO. We cannot ignore the fact that Russia is a big neighbor," said Kurt Volker.

Of course, it is impossible for Georgia to ignore the political situation, and the fact that Russia is both a “big”and aggressive neighbor makes the situation all the more difficult.

Unfortunately it has been clear for a long time that even in case Georgia is in full compliance with NATO standards, Russia’s factor can play a decisive role in the decision making process.

It is consistently stated by NATO officials that Russia cannot influence Georgia’s membership, but it is also obvious that the factor plays its negative role.

Perhaps Georgia is not in full compliance with the alliance’s standards, but at least it is ready for the Membership Action Plan, which it has been denied over and over again.