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NATO is to blame for Georgia’s defeat2008-11-01 09:48
On 30th October Mikhail Saakashvili arrived in Oslo on an official visit. The president was trying to secure support from the Norwegians for Georgia to receive a plan of action for NATO membership. But Norway's Foreign Minister tried to avoid giving an answer.
"We needed a clear signal from NATO that we are on the path towards joining the alliance," noted Saakashvili. "The uncertainty and disconnectedness among the alliance's members has made Georgia vulnerable with respect to Russia."
The president unexpectedly went on to add that "August might not have happened, if Bucharest hadn't given such an unclear signal". Saakashvili seemingly thinks that "restoring constitutional order" in South Ossetia would have gone smoothly if Georgia had had a plan of action for NATO membership behind it. If that were the case the Georgian armed forces would not have had to hurriedly flee from the 58th army. But alas, the West's answer was uncertain, which Moscow was allegedly quick to make the most of.
Norway's Prime Minister Jan Stoltenberg was taken aback by the Napoleonic plans of the Georgian president. In replying to the question of whether Norway was today prepared to support Georgia's membership in the North Atlantic alliance, Stoltenberg said that, "Georgia, just as Ukraine, must meet the standards and demands of the military bloc". He was also unwilling to reveal which position his country would take at the December meeting of NATO foreign ministers.
It should be noted that apart from the USA and some of the alliance's neophytes from Eastern Europe, nobody is rushing to see Tbilisi made a member. Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel was the first to speak on this matter. According to her, it is still a bit too early for Georgia to join the bloc. This statement caused uproar in Tbilisi. The chancellor was directly accused of facilitating Moscow's interests. Admittedly, then similar announcements were heard from the Secretary General of the Alliance Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, and the French and Italian presidents. The issue is not so much the need for military reforms, which the aforementioned politicians are putting their hope in. The Baltic States were accepted into NATO without any attention being paid to the level of their defensive capability. Europe just does not want to shoulder Tbilisi's territorial problems. Moreover their populations on the whole support the politicians. At the end of October the German Institute for Sociological Research Forsa published the results of its latest survey. In total 68 percent of those surveyed were against Georgia's acceptance into NATO, with only 18 percent in favour. The remainder honestly answered that they had never even heard of such a country. 87 percent of Germans said "no" to the question of whether German soldiers should take part in a peacekeeping mission in Georgia.
Ukraine's prospects for joining the alliance are no greater. On the same day as Saakashvili was asking for Norway's support, the American publication The Wall Street Journal declared that Kiev has failed in its expected promotion of the idea of the "Orange Revolution". Now Ukraine has the reputation of a country "where crisis and instability rule".