NEW LEVEL OF COOPERATION BETWEEN GEORGIA AND NATO

By Arthur Dunn

Currently, Washington is seeking to significantly strengthen its policy on post-Soviet states by strengthening NATO integration. It is being implemented in parallel with the direct support of the United States in the field of military, civil and social reforms.

 

At the last NATO summit in Wales, September 4-5, 2014, has approved a package of "enhanced cooperation" with Georgia. It provides for the delegation mission to Georgia to study the defense needs and assist in the reform of defense and security. As well as the opening of a joint NATO training center designed for military exercises of the NATO partner countries of the Alliance and Georgian troops.

 

Strengthening cooperation with Georgia aimed at strengthening the defense of the country and should provide a much closer relationship with the Alliance. This should help it to achieve significant progress in its preparations for NATO membership. Thus, the NATO summit in Wales showed an increased interest in Washington in the enlargement of NATO through the possible inclusion of some post-Soviet countries. First of all, Georgia. Especially against the background of what is happening in Ukraine.

 

Today Georgia's membership in NATO is not considered, however, it seems that the decision of the Bucharest summit remains in force. This is a political decision of the alliance. Strengthening cooperation between Georgia and NATO transforms the relationship between them to a new, higher level of cooperation. Among them - a statement on creating a joint training center, scheduled to open later this year. As well as the formation of a permanent group of experts of the alliance to promote military reform in this country. In this case, both parties stressed that this center should not be seen as a military base, since it will not have functions for the solution of specific combat missions, but because its creation is not a step aimed against Russia. According to the Minister of Defence of Georgia Mindy Dzhanelidze information about the final placement of the future training center is likely to be known at the end of February. Now, however, as a possible site called the military base in Vaziani, located near Tbilisi. Such a center in Georgia are actively functioning. Such a center has become Sachkhere school where trained soldiers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and other countries that are not members of NATO. However, with the opening of the center in Georgia NATO alliance functions with regard to its policy in this country significantly expanded. If before the joint exercises of the armed forces of Georgia and NATO as a whole were aimed at preparing for participation in peacekeeping operations, the opening of a joint center will create new opportunities in the field of bilateral cooperation, designed, first and foremost, to strengthen the defenses of the country. Including Tbilisi by providing financial support as well as sending personnel. In this case, the United States, according to the NATO Secretary General, will play a crucial role in cooperation with the Alliance of Georgia. All this confirms the growing support for Georgia's NATO to modernize the security system this strany.A well as the seriousness of the NATO and the US in respect of their policies in Georgia.

 

Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman has repeatedly expressed their dissatisfaction to the activation of NATO's post-Soviet space as a whole, and in Georgia in particular. Moscow believes that the appearance of instruments of NATO in Georgia will increase the degree of tension. In response, NATO officials constantly stressed that no third party will be able to influence the way NATO will open a center in the country, which is a partner of the Alliance or not. Opening the same training center in Georgia, NATO is not directed against Russia. However, Moscow continues to believe that the emergence in Georgia NATO military objects - it is a step in the direction of increasing tension and deteriorating regional security.

 

To some extent increased cooperation between NATO and Georgia was a response to the signing of Russia in November last year an agreement on strategic partnership and alliance with Abkhazia. And also on the future signing of another treaty between Russia and South Ossetia. After all, NATO and the US continue to actively support Georgia's territorial integrity, calling on Moscow to the withdrawal of all armed forces from the occupied territories.

 

At the same time taking into account the new realities in the South Caucasus, Moscow should understand and what to keep Georgia under its influence is no longer possible. And any attempt to block Georgia's aspiration to integrate with the West is counterproductive. With the emergence of two de facto entities - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - they ceased to be the major trump cards of Moscow in its game with Tbilisi. This will greatly enhance the capacity of Georgia to the choice of foreign allies. Besides, Russia can not ignore that the integration of two independent states - Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the international community is a process rather long and hardly justified. Sukhumi interests may not always coincide with the interests of Moscow. The new agenda of the Russian-Abkhazian relations, the ability to make the partnership between the two countries are mutually beneficial and productive, today Moscow is not available.

 

In turn, Georgia can not fail to understand that the key to solving the problem of territorial integrity of the country is in Russian asset - its northern neighbor, occupying a very active role in the post-Soviet countries.

 

US intention to strengthen its policy on post-Soviet states by strengthening NATO component is confirmed and a number of bills. Among them, the "Act to support freedom in Ukraine 2014» («Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014") to provide Ukraine with weapons and the status of an ally without NATO membership, received in December last year in support of the US Senate; Bill "On prevention of Russian aggression» - (Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014); and Resolution 758, which condemns the continuing political, economic and military aggression against the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, as well as a violation of their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, passed the House of Representatives in December last year by an overwhelming majority. All of these bills provide not only providing comprehensive support to Ukraine and Georgia and Moldova, countries with territorial problems and become signatories to the Association Agreement with the EU. This suggests that the US and EU will keep these countries under scrutiny in the case of any action on the part of Russia aimed at undermining their territorial integrity, and can respond to them very harshly.

 

 

 

  

27.02.2015

 

 

 

 

 

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