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NATO advances cooperation with Russia. Georgia queues on2009-09-21 14:52
In many respects last week was epoch-making in terms of geopolitics. Tbilisi was impassioned about a possibility of anti Iran missile shield deployment closer to Georgia or (if it all goes well) - inside Georgia. The United States' rejection to deploy BMD elements in Europe was followed by NATO Secretary General's statement on cooperation between Russia, the USA and NATO on missile defense. Prospects of Georgia's accession into the alliance are still more obscure.
Recently US Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman James Cartwright stated the missile defense systems would be deployed "closer to Caucasus". The USA are debating over deployment of Aegis military ships with interceptor missiles on board in order to protect their European allies within the new BMD program as stated by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at a press conference. Aegis are equipped with SM-2 and SM-3 missiles.
Tbilisi immediately concluded that the US BMD elements would be best off only in Georgia. Throughout Friday Georgian parliamentarians were on this issue though no US politician or commander even mentioned Georgia.
Niki Laliashvili of the Christian-Democratic Movement stated: "If the USA choose Georgia for BMD deployment Tbilisi should agree". According to Vice Speaker of Parliament Paata Davitaya all talks on alleged concessions in US BMD deployment to Russia are totally absurd. "Missile system deployment on ships, which provides for their movement, will be rather efficient. Thus the USA will be able to protect not only Europe but the Caucasus too", - Davitaya noted.
Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili stated that the US BMD deployment closer to Caucasus is more beneficial for Georgia in terms of tactics. "If the USA focuses on Caucasus, a troubled region, Georgia will definitely be in the spotlight", - Yakobashvili said assuring himself or his compatriots or the White House.
In the meantime NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at a press conference in Brussels expressed the opinion that Russia, the USA and NATO might cooperate on missile defense. He called to study the BMD integration capabilities of the aforementioned participants in order to join them in future as an option.
According to him in future both NATO members and their partners will be able to join the BMD system but provided all political conditions of this participation are observed. The Secretary General remarked that this state of things is a long-term outlook, not the near future, RBC reports. The NATO Secretary General also underscored the alliance's readiness to address Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposals expressed earlier on Euro-Atlantic security. "We must strive for a Euro-Atlantic security structure with Russia as part of it", - he remarked.
However it's not the time to speak about Russia-NATO close cooperation yet. Many Russian politicians and experts have found some "hidden agendas". The Cold War syndrome is not so easily curable, it should be acknowledged. However the prospects of Georgia's accession to the North Atlantic alliance seem even more vague and surreal. Not because Russia is considered as a desirable alliance member. Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that Ukraine and Georgia don't come up to NATO criteria yet.