NATO plays with Mishiko12.12.2011 | 21:41
As state minister for European integration Georgi Baramidze stated, Georgia now has a new status - "NATO's candidate" and is mentioned together with Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, all of them MAP holders. In the meantime Russian FM Sergey Lavrov warns leaders of NATO member states against giving unbalanced Mikheil Saakashvili too much hope: full of joy, he might organize repetition of August 2008. Sergey Mikheev, vice president of the Center for political conjuncture, comments on the situation for GeorgiaTimes.
Do you know the phrase "perpetual student"? It refers to a man that endlessly studies something, gets new knowledge and arrives at no goal. Since the goal, that might de-jure be proclaimed, de-facto doesn't exist. It's just that such a person loves the process.
Georgia's way to NATO is something of this kind. Its "progress" looks more like attempts to become closer to the sky by climbing up onto a stool. Indeed, the distance is 0,5 m shorter, but that does not change anything...Indeed, fascinating process! Georgi Baramidze, Georgia's state minister for European integration openly acknowledges Georgia's status of a "lifelong student"..
"It is for the first time that the country has been referred to as a NATO candidate. This is a specific term, and Georgia is mentioned together with other states that have MAP (NATO membership action plan - ed) like Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, - Baramidze states. It sounds wonderful: look at the MAP holders and here is Georgia - just to stand nearby. Definitely, this is undeniable progress fraught with the loss of common sense.
This is basically what Russian FM warns NATO member in his speech to NATO colleagues. He "frankly cautioned our colleagues against pushing the current regime in Georgia - willfully or involuntarily - to repetition of the August 2008 events".
"We spoke about Georgia among other things for I noticed that yesterday's communiqué that NATO FMs adopted contains the term "partners aspiring to NATO membership". Among countries mentioned under this term was also Georgia, - Lavrov said at a press conference after the meeting between foreign ministers of the Russia-NATO council in Brussels.
He reminded that once Mikheil Saakashvili had already lost his mind of happiness after a promise at the summit in Bucharest that Georgia would sooner or later become a NATO member. His next step was the attack on Tskhinval.
"I have not the slightest doubt that knowing Mikheil Saakashvili's psychological peculiarities, this played an important role in taking that mad, unreasonable decision then. That is why I hope NATO will be responsible for motivating such events that took place in August 2008", - Lavrov cautioned.
Does Georgia have a reason to be happy or not?
"It is all rather simple", - Sergey Mikheev, vice president of the Center for political conjuncture told GeorgiaTimes. - On the whole, NATO does not renounce its plans to expand eastward. As for Georgia, it simply should be held hopeful. In reality, the alliance is not ready to admit Georgia: this is a problem country with a whole lot of difficulties", "headache" like Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On the other hand, NATO should feed the Georgian leadership with hopes in order to keep Tbilisi inside the stream of all NATO plans.
As for the aid, also military assistance, I think Georgia will get it from Americans. Presently, of course, the United States realize they will be able to take advantage of Saakashvili thanks to well-known traits of his character, i.e. the role of a provoker in South Caucasus. Why not? America's tactics is clear. And we realize that NATO is not the USA, though the States dominate the alliance. America constantly needs to keep Russia on alert in all fronts, and Saakashvili is a wonderful candidate to this role.
Americans have used Georgia to make the situation on Russia's southern borders more complicated, and they will do it in future. For Tbilisi that does not mean it will be granted NATO membership. Americans know what kind of man Saakashvili is and Georgia's NATO accession would mean NATO will take responsibility for his actions. On one hand, NATO would like to take full advantage of the Georgian president, on the other it is important not to make him a full-fledged NATO member and avoid responsibility. This is a very convenient position allowing NATO to act freely.
As for Saakashvili himself, I believe he crossed his personal Rubicon long ago. The more credits he gets now, the more self-confident he feels. There was a period of bitter defeat in August 208 but now he has come to his senses and any support inspires him. Will this support push him to a new military campaign? I'm not sure. I don't think it is possible in the near future. Georgia has learned its lessons. Though Saakashvili is capable of provocations, of course".