Georgia - eternal NATO's aspirant state12.04.2012 | 16:25
Today, Georgian Orientalist and professor, expert on international issues, Kote Zhgenti, lectures at the International Black Sea University. Previously, he was ambassador to Austria and Hungary. Now he has a daily program "Here and Now" on radio "Palitra". Kote Zhgenti told us about the foreign policy pursued by Mikheil Saakashvili, and the prospects of joining NATO.
Will our country join NATO? What are your suggestions?
Until Georgia has resolved problems with Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia, we won't join it, I think. No government of Georgia would agree to change this position. And the people won't accept this. The leading European countries also do not support us. Which state would go on confrontation with Russia because of Georgia? None!
NATO members themselves can say nothing about Georgia's accession into NATO. They say Georgia is not sufficiently democratic. So far, this is the only issue.
There are other reasons. NATO is now in dire financial straits.
Probably, at summit in Chicago they will say again, "our door are open for you", and that we are NATO's aspirant state. This would soothe us; theu will say they recognize our territorial integrity, and that's all.
Does Mikheil Saakashvili try to talk with the Russian government?
Yes, it is already known to all. There is a message from some foreign countries, they say you do not hold fair elections; we'll have to cut assistance.
Getting help from the East is impossible. Our state is showing foreign countries that it is ready to talk with Russia. In Munich, a delegation consisting of 4-5 people, met with Ivanov, with a group of officials and political analysts, united in a presidential council. Of course, they must have talked about restoring relations.
The West has demanded Georgian president to hold fair elections - is this possible?
Yes, the West loves to give us advice. There were several messages at different levels. At the level of Hillary Clinton, the U.S. Congress, Senate, and Obama himself. And in Brussels, Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, bluntly stated that the elections will be a kind of test for us, and Saakashvili agreed. This was at a meeting of Georgia and NATO at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
Why the presence of our troops in Afghanistan is so important for Georgia?
When you want security, you must give something back in return. You have to be not only a consumer, but also make some contribution. It is also written in NATO documents.
Georgia sends more troops to Afghanistan than any other country. Thus, Misha Saakashvili is trying to gain political points in the eyes of foreign friends.
What does the abolition of visa regime with Russia mean, in your opinion?
This is also a message to foreign countries, saying, "You asked for better relations with Russia, so here you are".
And earlier we had no problems with Russia. The only thing this initiative can improve - it is the state of those Georgians who have Russian passports.