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NATO has more important issues than Georgia’s ambitions2009-03-10 14:37
On March 5 Brussels welcomed Georgia-NATO commission meeting. Official Tbilisi is very satisfied with its result. Well, they have to put up a brave front as right at the Foreign Ministers' meeting the alliance decided on resumption of dialogue with Russia. Facing the challenges of today Georgia's problems pale into the background.
"We considered issues concerning the occupied territories and security. The alliance reconfirmed their respect for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and called on Russia to immediately stop military operations in Georgia", - IA Regnum quotes Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze. - We will accede to NATO, the alliance confirmed that at the meeting".
Apparently the Georgian Foreign Minister deliberately omitted the decision on cooperation with Russia taken by the alliance. Resumption of Brussels-Moscow dialogue places Tbilisi's ambitions in the background. According to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the dialogue between NATO and Russia in spite of existing differences common points must be found. "The dialogue helps to mitigate tense bilateral relations and favors resolution of the existing problems", - she is quoted by Rosbalt. As for Georgia's and Ukraine's accession to NATO according to Clinton "the door to NATO must be left open for them". As the saying goes nothing less and nothing more.
That is why apparently Vashadze keeps repeating "we will accede" convincing himself and the Georgian people of it and trying to justify Saakashvili's foreign policy in this way.
However there is a rather extraordinary interpretation of the Brussels meeting results: NATO is trying to get closer to Russia to put pressure on Moscow afterwards. This is what Akaky Minashvili, External Relations Committee Chairman stated in his interview with Rustavi 2: "This is a mechanism that will help to stop Russian expansion, construction of bases and finally ensure Russia's withdrawal from the territory of Georgia". Besides Minashvili added that the USA would doubtless "stand up for Georgia".
Will they? Doesn't Akaky Minashvili take the desirable to be reality? Surely in compliance with the charter signed early this year the United States will keep instructing the Georgian army. The undertakings should be performed. But it should be clear that now for Washington it is very important to find areas of common interest with Russia to solve a number of global issues dealing with nuclear weapons and threat of terrorism.
So it looks like Tbilisi will have to put up with Russian bases in Abkhazia. As reported by Sergey Bagapsh to Interfax Russian troops will stay in Gudauta and Ochamchir for 49 years.