Will Georgia join NATO without Sukhum and Tskhinval?
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Georgia will not have to make a choice between its territorial integrity and NATO membership.
Speaking in Brussels ahead of the NATO Defence Ministerial which will be held on 3-4 October, he stressed that Georgia will become a NATO member when it meets the alliance standards.
Stoltenberg vowed that NATO will help Georgia to come fully in line with mandatory standards.
NATO chief also said that the first NATO-Georgia Commission meeting will be held tomorrow. "Ministers will take stock of the developments in NATO-Georgia cooperation, including the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, and discuss Black Sea security - a priority for NATO and for Georgia," he said.
The head of the Institute of Management Strategy, Petre Mamradze, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that NATO does not intend to accept Georgia as its member, but it has to make such statements for political reasons. "Declaring that the decision of the Bucharest summit that Ukraine and Georgia will join NATO without any additional conditions if they want, and then abandoning this decision formally would recognize the inconsistency of the Alliance as an international organization. NATO officials cannot do such thing, therefore, Stoltenberg is obliged to repeat these statements," he explained.
"On the sidelines, we are told that in the autumn of 2008, the Alliance made a decision not to accept Georgia as its member. Russia recognized these regions as independent countries, deployed two powerful military bases there, so NATO membership for Georgia is ruled out now. So, when Stoltenberg or someone else says that the main thing is the will of the people and the will of NATO, his words do not correspond to reality. Of course, Georgia should strive for the standards of the Alliance, I really want Tbilisi to join this democratic alliance, but at this stage we need to adopt new standards and understand that currently there are no prospects for joining," Petre Mamradze stressed.
Political scientist Gela Vasadze agreed that currently NATO is not interested n Georgia's integration. "NATO's Article 5 does not imply a rejection of territorial integrity, and the Alliance had a similar experience with Germany and the GDR, with Turkey, Greece and Northern Cyprus. But if Stoltenberg's statement was obvious, then why Georgia is not allowed to join NATO? Because the Alliance does not need it yet. As soon as it is needed, Georgia will undoubtedly be accepted. So far, the point of the NATO Secretary General’s statement is that he confirmed the decision of the Bucharest summit, apparently to remind once again that Georgia will be a member of NATO, but only when the Alliance needs it," he said.