Daniel Fried on the statement of the Prime Minister: This indicates that Georgia will give up its ultimate goal to join the West, and this is the real position of the country's government

07.06.23 12:00

If the desire for NATO membership is so bad, and it is such a mistake that it justifies Russia's attack on your country, then this indicates that Georgia does not want to have anything to do with it, in an interview with VOA, former American diplomat and senior researcher of Atlantic Council Daniel Fried evaluated the statement made by the Prime Minister of Georgia in Bratislava, who named the desire to join NATO as one of the reasons for the start of the war in Ukraine.


According to Fried, the position of the Prime Minister indicates that Georgia will give up on its ultimate goal of joining the West.


"The Prime Minister of Georgia repeats the wording that Georgia wants NATO membership, but if you said before that Ukraine's desire for NATO membership is the proximate cause of the war and Russia's provocation was understandable to some extent, this undermines the previous statement that you are interested in NATO membership. This indicates that the real position of the Georgian government is that Georgia will abandon its ultimate goal of joining the West. Instead, it will seek less space in a Russian-dominated sphere of influence. And we know what that means in practice: it means poverty, corruption, isolation, and that's sad. The question is, where does the Georgian Dream government see the future of Georgia - with the West or with Moscow? Yes, Georgia is in a difficult geographical location, but I am afraid that Georgia's anxiety towards Moscow will not actually strengthen its position, but will weaken it. Such a plea, as if bowing before the Kremlin, may look like a gesture of goodwill and reconciliation, but I am afraid that it will be seen by the Kremlin as a sign of weakness," Fried said.


According to another American expert, senior researcher of the Atlantic Council and former senior official of the Department of Defense, Jan Brzezinski, this statement of the Prime Minister is a complete misunderstanding of history and geopolitics.


"Such a statement is not only harmful for Georgia, but also encourages additional Russian aggression. Didn't 2008 teach us anything?" - says Jan Brzezinski.


Robert Hamilton, the head of the Eurasia Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, believes that the Prime Minister of Georgia repeated the main argument used by the Russian government to justify the war.


"I think that one of the most important issues at the Vilnius summit will be the status of Ukraine. Unfortunately for the great majority of Georgia who are in favor of joining NATO, the paths of Georgia and Ukraine diverged in this process. After 2008, Georgia and Ukraine were formally seen in tandem as a pair of countries that were moving towards NATO integration. This tandem was broken, the connection was broken and it will be like this in the near future.


We do not see that anyone is talking or any discussion is going on at the Vilnius summit about advancing Georgia more towards NATO. I think Georgia will be ignored at the Vilnius summit. This tandem is irreversibly broken. This is a great missed opportunity for Georgia, which could have played its cards right and been at the forefront of official support for Ukraine. This is a lost opportunity for the government and a tragedy for the Georgian people, who have been saying very clearly for more than 20 years that the vast majority of them want the country's Euro-Atlantic integration," said Robert Hamilton.


*The quotes in the article have been double-translated from Georgian and wordings may be inaccurate.




source: IPN 

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