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Georgia-NATO dilemma2010-01-28 18:27
A key issue at the core of ongoing Russian-Georgian confrontation is a desire of the little Caucasian republic to join North Atlantic Alliance. Russia has always been openly resentful about it. Despite the decision taken at Bucharest summit in 2007 to postpone NATO accession for Russia's two neighbors - Georgia and Ukraine - leaders of both states cherish their dreams of alliance membership. Though today's Georgia has almost no pro-Russian politicians and Georgians are not totally disillusioned about NATO security prospects yet, the calls to neutrality become still more audible.
Though the expert community of Georgia is more inclined to believe that after the August war and the arrival of Barack Obama, the White House's new master, Georgia's accession to the alliance has turned into a vague prospect, the country leaders keep convincing themselves and their compatriots that NATO doors are open to the young little democracy. These songs sound particularly up-to-date after the meeting between Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General and David Bakradze, chairman of Georgian parliament.
It is noteworthy that generally Washington supports its Caucasus partner but prefers not to irritate Moscow in view of current US-Russian "reset" and comes off with common promises that NATO membership is guaranteed as promised. One day... without defining time limits. Georgian politicians that worship all that comes from the West heard similar things recently.
Promises made at 2007 NATO Summit in Bucharest shall be fulfilled and Georgia will become an alliance member, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO SG said in Brussels after the meeting with David Bakradze, chairman of the Georgian parliament, Interfax reports. The country's political elite is particularly optimistic about the NATO Secretary General's intention to visit Georgia. As media report, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen plans to come to Georgia. Exact time of the visit is not specified though it is expected to take place over a few months' time. That's why the topic of the country's accession into NATO is again a headline in the media.
Part of the opposition stick to the ruling National Movement's stand on the issue. As Georgian media report, Georgy Targamadze, leader of Christian Democrats recently stated that "cooperation with all NATO structures contributes to the country's speedy accession into the alliance". Giya Nodia, Georgia's ex Education Minister told the journalists yesterday that the country's accession into NATO is irreversible. Rumors that NATO has written Georgia off are exaggerated, Giya Nodia, the expert, remarked commenting on the results of yesterday's meeting between Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General and David Bakradze, chairman of Georgian parliament.
Supposedly, yesterday's promulgation of opinion poll results requested by NATO information center in Georgia was not incidental. As media report most residents of the Georgian capital - 76% - favor the country's accession into the North Atlantic Alliance. Last year the figure was 9% lower. However professional sociologists know that the poll results directly depend on the way the question is asked. This very opinion poll has no questions about neutrality. And this sentiment in Georgia is as evident as ever. Two years ago it was only Irina Sarishili, Imedi political unity leader, who had such an unpopular position. Formerly she was in charge of Igor Girogadze charity foundation (ex KGB head accused of aiding Russia) so the suggestion that Georgia must refrain from acceding to the alliance was taken in an "old-witch-against-the-idea" manner.