The United States is making strides to bring Georgia closer to NATO. Experts are warning that this scenario may destabilize the situation in the Caucasus and strain relations between NATO and Russia.
An ‘offensive’ on Georgia comes from two directions. On the one hand, the European Union has forcing its values upon Tbilisi within the framework of the so-called Eastern Partnership Program in an apparent bid to destroy whatever ties may still exist between Georgia and Russia and expand the EU influence in the region.
On the other hand, the United States is stepping up efforts to engage Georgia into NATO.
The political turmoil and uncertainty in Ukraine smooth the way for other geopolitical projects, Georgia being one of them.
Dozens of US congressmen from both the Republican and Democratic parties signed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, in which they encourage continued efforts to make enlargement a key priority for the United States and urged him to support NATO membership for Macedonia and Montenegro and a MAP (Membership Action Plan) for Georgia. Those tasks were repeatedly outlined by President Barack Obama and his NATO allies.
“At all its recent summits, NATO repeated that it held the door open. The latest events in Ukraine where local nationalists have actually seized power arouse deep concern. Washington’s policy will damage both the US-Russian relations and Moscow’s relations with Georgia and Ukraine if the latter become full-fledged NATO members. The experience of the former Soviet republics and former Warsaw Pact countries which have joined NATO shows that their military and military-technical plans have been completely overhauled. Anti-Russian sentiments emerge. Large-scale military exercises take place near our borders. The atmosphere surrounding Russia’s relations with NATO and its newly-admitted members is on the whole deteriorating,” political analyst Vladimir Kozin told the Voice of Russia.
“NATO continues to expand eastwards. And as it does so, it heaps Kremlin with assurances that the alliance’s expansion is not directed against Russia or harms its interests in any way. But missile defense systems and tactical nuclear weapons deployed in the newly-admitted member-states make those assurances meaningless. It’s naive to believe that Georgia will be free of NATO bases if it joins NATO. A MAP for Georgia will probably be up for debate at NATO’s September summit,” said Leonid Savin, Chief Editor of the Geopolitics magazine.
“Georgia’s possible admission to NATO means that foreign could bases will appear not far from the Russian border. That might jeopardize stability and security in the entire region. Armenia is planning to join the Customs Union and the Eurasian Union. It will hardly like the prospect of NATO troops and hardware controlling the territory. After Georgia enters NATO, Tbilisi may resume attempts to regain Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” he said.