Sakartvelo cheating on NATO with European Union28.03.2011 | 22:15
Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Georgy Baramidze revealed a big secret to the Georgian society. While the government is spending efforts on entering in NATO, European Union misses Georgia's attention and is gradually moving away from it. Baramidze perfectly knows that it won't take a minute to admit the republic in the alliance but to jump into Europe's lap from the mountains would really be a circus stunt. Besides, Ukraine is pursuing the same aim and is even ahead of Georgia. Should Tbilisi aim the foreign policy vector at Brussels? GeorgiaTimes put this question to member of the Georgian Fund of Strategic and International Research Archil Gegeshidze.
vector at Brussels? GeorgiaTimes put this question to member of the Georgian Fund of Strategic and International Research Archil Gegeshidze.
Ukraine, which success in the field of integration to Europe is so admired by Georgia, does not think itself to be that successful. Just the other way round, it considers the small Caucasian republic as an example of interaction with the western partners. While the power in Kiev was held by "organe" Victor Yushchenko and Gas Princess Yulia Timoshenko, NATO hurriedly developed a program of entering in the alliance for the "independent" state. American hegemon was dreaming of deploying its ABM systems in Crimea and intimidating the defiant Russia with them. Today, though, when the presidential post has been taken up by Victor Yanukovitch one the second try, the international organization takes time to fold Ukraine in its arms and has postponed the matter for an indefinite time.
At the seminar of NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Tbilisi, head of Ukrainian delegation Andrey Shkil could not help openly admiring the Georgian authorities' persistence. "It's a pleasant fact that Georgia was able to take perspective steps in terms of entering in NATO. Georgia is more successful on its way to NATO than Ukraine", - Ukrainian spokesman underlined. However, no one specified what steps were taken by the Caucasian republic except for interposing in the endless Geneva talks. And that's good, for even the minister for European and Atlantic integration is trying to explain to Mikhail Saakashvili now that the government took the wrong path.
"It all depends on the environment when the issue of Ukraine and Georgia's entrance in NATO is raised at last. It was once considered that Kiev and Tbilisi could enter in NATO in a tandem. It turned out later on that Ukraine was not ready for that and Georgia was left alone. But being in the same boat with the neighbouring state does not mean that both countries will be admitted. Of course, that's very desirable, for if the issue of expanding the European Union eastward is raised one day, the union would rather welcome the entrance of Ukraine, not Georgia. After all, the scale and geography play a great role", - political expert and member of the Georgian Fund of Strategic and International Research Archil Gegeshidze shared his viewpoint with GeorgiaTimes.
No one is interested in such a trifle as entering in the North-Atlantic bloc, especially that according to Mr. Baramidze, Georgia's indicators are much better than those of some of NATO members. What's the point in setting up a harmful connection with the weak links? No, the Caucasian republic prefers making friends with the high and mighties so as to have a chance to hide behind their backs and solicit a dole of a couple of million dollars if need be. "We have stated a long time ago that we are Georgians, which means Europeans; it's just that the entrance in EU seems to be an easier task to us requiring less time", - Georgiy Baramidze was bold enough to confess.
By the way, the Georgian minister was supported by a delegate from Netherlands who was also surprised why Sakartvelo is trying so hard to get into an organization where the "bloodthirsty" Russia is already waiting for it and why it keeps toadying to the United States despite the geographic position. As to the European members of the bloc, they have many times insisted on friendship with Moscow and the expansion of the joint programs, for they perfectly understand that America is far away and the potential enemy may turn out to be very close, and Russia's cooperation with NATO is a perfect guarantee of the whole Europe's happy future.
Our interlocutor believes Barmidze's proposal to be very interesting, for European Union is presently a more perspective alternative for Georgia than the Euro-Atlantic community, for there are no serious factors impeding the process of integration: "Brussels remains a vector, of course, for both international institutions are located there. We are talking about the various paces of rapprochement with these structures. As we know, the main barrier on the republic's way to NATO is the problems with Russia and Tbilisi won't become a potential candidate to the Alliance until they are settled. No one will admit it to the bloc until it settles difficulties with the neighbours. Rapprochement with European Union is in Georgia's hands".