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Europe must pay attention to Georgia2008-12-02 09:44
...and incidents occurring on its territory." This is what Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures Georgy Baramidze told journalists on 27th November.
"Occupying forces still remain on Georgian territory, and a large proportion of the country's territory is occupied by Russia," affirmed the deputy prime minister. "Moscow has not only failed to fulfil its ceasefire agreement, but is constantly violating its main provisions."
Baramidze has not just asked for the West's attention. He insistently recommends that Georgia be granted a MAP for entry into NATO at the upcoming NATO Foreign Ministers' summit, which will take place in Brussels on 2nd-3rd December.
"At this meeting measures need to provided which will allow Georgia to join NATO's ranks. Russia should not be given the impression that it has been able to drive a wedge between members of the alliance and can therefore celebrate a victory that it has not gained!"
Despite all his zeal, Baramidze clearly realizes that this will be very difficult to achieve.
"Until the very last moment we will ask NATO members to give us a MAP," he assured. "Including those countries which are abstaining because of the Russian factor."
All his efforts are likely to have been in vain. 9 of the 27 alliance members have already let it be understood that they will not accept its proposed expansion. For now, at least. Saakashvili's closest ally in NATO, Lithuania's President Valdas Adamkus, has openly admitted that Georgia could only receive a MAP by a miracle.
Despite this, 27th November was a day of heightened activity for other Georgian ministers. They each seemed to be trying to shout louder than the others. Each one said how awful it would be for poor Georgia without being in NATO. And how the alliance would suffer if they did not save Georgia in the next five days.
Baramidze was followed by a pronouncement from the Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili. At a session of the parliamentary commission investigating the August events he related how Russia conquered Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And hinted that they would conquer the West in the same way.