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Qualifying exams for Georgia the postgraduate13.12.2011 | 19:54
It seems that the status of NATO "postgraduate" assigned to Georgia has made such a strong impression on local politicians that they already see the republic in the ranks of the military bloc. Indeed, the alliance is nothing - Tbilisi feels it might conquer even the European Union. Georgian politicians seriously believe the country has entered the final stage of the Euro-Atlantic integration. Sounds rather pathetic, though, but can it be true? GeorgiaTimes correspondent, former Russian Ambassador to Georgia Felix Stanevsky thinks the political elite of Sakartvelo are too optimistic.
It is a well-known fact that any declarative statement from Brussels about the importance of cooperation with Georgia is taken in Tbilisi very warmly. However, this time, representatives of Saakashvili's regime not only believed empty promises but publicly displayed their puppyish joy about their future entrance in various international organizations. The point is the vague wording of the North-Atlantic Alliance that called the republic a NATO "postgraduate". The metaphor played a low-down trick with Saakashvili's team.
"Today Georgia is very close to reaching its purpose, which is full membership in NATO, - Deputy Head of the Georgian Security Council Batu Kutelia declared. - This has been the clearest message of late; it confirmed that Georgia has practically entered the final stage, upon which, if successful, we are going to become members of the North-Atlantic Alliance". Kutelia is sure the mechanisms that will help Georgia enter the alliance are the current forms of cooperation with the bloc, i.e. taking part in military operations in Afghanistan and getting money for developing the young Georgian democracy. Funny, indeed.
Head of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze also feels optimistic. In his opinion, Georgia will enter not only NATO but the European Union as well - after Ukraine. "It is very important for us that the processes in Ukraine go on smoothly, without hampering the process of European integration", - the Georgian politician either expressed his hope or decided to read a lesson to Victor Yanukovich. He added that Ukraine is a touchstone in European integration in the Black Sea region.
As was expected, Ukrainian leader left Bakradze's speech unanswered. Instead, information appeared in the press about the American Republicans' attempt to push Georgia through to NATO. This failure is supposed to become a wake-up call for Tbilisi. The Daily Caller has published a curious report about one of the senator's initiative to attain the adoption of a resolution on accelerating Georgia's entrance in NATO by the Upper Chamber of Congress. "Last week, while most senators concentrated on relevant issues of the military operations sponsorship and the citizens' constitutional freedoms, Senator Marco Rubio (a Republican from Florida) seemed to be preoccupied with the future of another country. Rubio was trying to attain the adoption of the resolution he had proposed to accelerate Georgia's entrance in NATO through the parliamentary procedure of "unanimous consent", - Gruzinform is citing the article. The procedure implies adopting a document only by those parliamentarians who are present at the session and "make no open objections". Then, the resolution goes directly to head of the state Barack Obama who is supposed to "head the diplomatic efforts" in order to attain the approval of the Membership Action Plan for Georgia at the upcoming May summit of the alliance in Chicago.
Nevertheless, Senator Rand Paul did not support his colleague's gesture. He underlined that allowing Georgia in NATO may lead to another armed conflict the U.S. will have to deal with. The Congressman fairly noted that any initiatives on affiliating Tbilisi with the bloc should first be publicly discussed.
What will be the reaction of the Georgian politicians? In his talk with GeorgiaTimes correspondent, head of the Caucasian Department at CIS Countries Institute Felix Stanevsky remarked that the official Tbilisi would keep making optimistic statements despite everything. "Wishful thinking is typical of the exalted political elite of Georgia. These people love pushing things on in their imagination believing that everything will go on as they expect, - the expert believes. - Nothing of the kind happens, though, so it is yet unclear how things related to Georgia's entrance in NATO and EU will move; it is unclear for both the Georgians and the leaders of these international organizations. The whole thing is nothing but Georgia's general wish to enter the alliance".