Why does Georgia need non-bloc status?

Why does Georgia need non-bloc status?

The opposition party 'Democratic Movement' of the former Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Nino Burjanadze, appealed to the members of the constitutional commission, demanding to fix non-bloc status of the country at the legislative level, the party's member Dmitri Lortkipanidze said.

According to him, Georgia should not become a member of any military alliance, Sputnik Georgia reports.

"It absolutely excludes that Georgia should become a member of NATO or any military alliance," Lortkipanidze said, adding that the republic has a sovereign right to cooperate with any government for the purpose of enhancing security.

Earlier, Burjanadze explained that Georgia's non-bloc status will help to normalize relations between Moscow and Tbilisi, improve the investment climate in the country, and as a whole serve as guarantor of the independence, stability, peace and economic revival of Georgia.

In August 2016, the Parliament has already considered the issue of Georgia's non-bloc status, but then Burjanadze's initiative has been blocked for political reasons: the procedural committee members boycotted the draft's discussion.

According to the head of the Center for Global Studies, Nana Devdariani, there are a number of justifications for making the point about a non-bloc status of Georgia. "First, the non-bloc status is good because it contradicts a completely thoughtless idea to join NATO. Second, it will consider the interests of Russia, which resists NATO's expansion to its borders by all means. Third, a non-bloc, unlike the neutrality, does not prevent the participation of Georgia in international missions, including joint operations and training with the Western countries," she listed.

"It is an acceptable formula, especially in view of our political elite's desire to join NATO, without asking Abkhazians and Ossetians if they want it. Now there is a situation in Georgia when the establishment has agreed to accept the loss of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to become a NATO member - but a participation in any international organization is only a tool to achieve one's national interests. The membership in any organization cannot be a purpose," Nana Devdariani stressed.

According to her, the population will support this amendment on Georgia's non-bloc status, if it is put to a constitutional referendum. "The trouble is that nobody asks people what they want. Therefore,at first they have to get the referendum, because its decision is binding and the parliament cannot prevent it," the head of the Center for Global Studies pointed out.

The head of the Institute of Management Strategy, Petre Mamradze, on the contrary, is confident that Georgia will not benefit from a non-bloc status. "Such statements is just a PR stunt of the parties. In 2008, NATO decided that Georgia will never join the alliance. The issue of joining NATO is closed, everyone knows it - Tbilisi, Brussels and Moscow - and all the talk about it has become a PR stunt a long time ago. The initiative of Burjanadze's party is of no serious importance," he stressed.

The analyst also expressed doubt that the citizens will vote for this amendment in a referendum. "The vast majority of the population want to restore normal relations with Russia. On the other hand, roughly the same percentage supports Georgia's integration into Europe. We need good relations with Russia, but I do not see the population thinking that the non-bloc status of the country will improve it at once," the head of the Institute of Management Strategy concluded.

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