MAP via Crimea?
13 March, 2014
MAP via Crimea?
“If Crimea joins Russia, giving MAP to Georgia will be almost a foregone decision”

Georgia may get the NATO membership plan (MAP) in September, Russian Kommersant reports, based on its source in NATO and the US Department of State. “According to their information, the final resolution of this issue will depend on the outcome of the Ukraine crisis,” Kommersant says.
The Russian edition reports that if after the 16 March referendum Crimea joins Russia, Georgia will receive MAP at the NATO
Summit planned to be held in the UK in September.
According to the article, the perspective for Georgia to become a NATO member emerged in 2008 during the Alliance Summit in Bucharest.
Kommersant says that resistance from Germany and France hindered Georgia in getting MAP but Georgia was promised it would be able to join the alliance in the future.
The author of the article declared that after the 2008 war and after Russia recognized the Abkhaz and so-called South Ossetian independence, the question of Georgia’s integration into NATO vanished from the agenda. The 2012 Chicago Summit only mentioned that NATO’s door is open to Georgia.
“Russian activities in Ukraine caused the necessity of the renewed debates over a more decisive policy of the alliance in Eastern Europe. Representatives of the states, which urged not to force this issue a while ago, have now spoken of satisfying Georgia’s application on getting the status of NATO membership candidate” the article says.
The article says that the source in the US Department of State said that a while ago, when the Prime Minister of Georgia was visiting Washington, Irakli Gharibashvili was promised support in Georgia’s NATO integration by White House representatives. “Mr. Gharibashvili made this clear in his speech in Washington at the Atlantic Council that the change in power in Georgia has not influenced the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” the article says.
The article quotes Irakli Gharibashvili, saying that Georgia considers the US to be the unconditional leader of the alliance and a free world.
“After Georgia’s independence, the US has been supporting our territorial integrity, security and democracy,” the author cited Irakli Gharibashvili.
The article says that Russia considers the perspective of NATO approaching its borders to be unacceptable. The article cites Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s words, who said that the alliance’s extension is a continuation of the old logic of the cold war era. The author of the article says that if Crimea joins Russia, the question whether or not to give MAP to Georgia will be almost solved.
The source explained the word “almost” by saying that only Germany may hinder Georgia to be given MAP, as its foreign department is still headed by Franc-Walter Steinmeier and remains loyal to Moscow,” Elena Chernenko writes.
Kommersant’s source informs that the opinion of Berlin and other skeptic counties may change, as Crimea joining Russia is not acceptable to any country of the EU.
“When speaking of NATO integration perspectives, the Georgian government evades the issue of the fate of Abkhazia and so called South Ossetia in such case,” the article’s author says.
Kommersant quotes Irakli Gharibashvili’s words, who said that after five-ten years, the population of Abkhazia and so called South Ossetia will see clearly and decide whether they prefer to live in darkness or want to take a step into a bright future.
The Kommersant article says that in early February, the government of Georgia declared that the approach of the previous government towards Russia seriously damaged Georgia.
“Mr. Gharibashvili also reminded us of the European leaders’ support of Georgia’s new policy, which resulted in reciprocal constructive steps from Russia,” Kommersant reports.
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