Anthony Blinken: NATO’s door for Georgia must be open
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Candidate for the post of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, nominated by previously elected US President Joseph Biden, supports Georgia’s accession to NATO. He stated this at a hearing in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, dedicated to the consideration of his candidacy. Specifically, Blinken said in response to a question from a Republican senator from Kentucky Rand Paul (Rand Paul), who opposes NATO expansion and fears that the admission of Georgia and Ukraine to the Alliance may entail the implementation of Article 5 of the NATO Charter, according to which all members of the Alliance undertake to protect each other’s security (since parts of the territory of these countries are under Russian occupation) :
“If a country like Georgia meets the criteria for membership and contributes to our common security, yes, the door should be left open … There is ample evidence that Russia is aggressive towards countries that are not NATO members and are not are under the [security] umbrella. This shows why Russia is not attacking [NATO members] … We have seen in the past that countries that joined NATO were no longer targets for Russian aggression, “Blinken said on January 19..
An important start
Tina Khidasheli from the NGO “Civil Idea”, former Georgian Defense Minister, considers the statement of the candidate for the post of US Secretary of State towards Georgia “a very important start”.
The expert believes that in general, judging by the statements made at different stages by politicians who will occupy key positions in the government, the new US administration will unequivocally advocate for transatlantic unity, which, according to Khidasheli, is “critically important” for Georgia.
“Weakening NATO cannot suit democratic states, especially countries like Georgia. Personally, I look forward to continued cooperation, strategic partnership between our countries, and I also think that the government of Joseph Biden will be more principled, more capable of achieving results in negotiations with Russia and China – and this is very important for the security of Georgia, ”Tina Khidasheli said in a comment for the Russian service “Voice of America”.
As for the prospects of Georgia’s membership in NATO, the expert noted that, unfortunately, in this regard, Washington does not make a decision individually..
“Until there is no consensus in Europe on Georgia’s admission to NATO, we hardly expect a breakthrough in this direction,” Khidasheli summed up.
Benefits and perspectives
George Mchedlishvili from the University of Europe noted in a commentary to the Russian service of the Voice of America that over the past thirty years it has been obvious that the principle of continuity in US foreign policy is.
The political scientist cited as an example that relations between the United States and Georgia “developed dynamically” also under the Donald Trump administration..
So, the expert says, during the Trump administration, Georgia purchased the Javelin ATGM system from the United States, during this period of time the US Vice President and Secretary of State visited Georgia. Mchedlishvili notes that during this time an unprecedented number of statements were made by American senators and congressmen regarding the events taking place in Georgia. Also, the facts of the US Ambassador’s involvement in issues of internal politics of Georgia, including mediation in negotiations between the authorities and the opposition, indicate that Georgia “did not leave the US radar.” At the same time, the expert notes that the personality of the president, who was less interested in foreign policy, “still mattered”.
As for the new President Joe Biden, according to Mchedlishvili, he has many advantages.
“Unlike previous presidents, who initially tried to improve relations with Russia, which caused a nervous reaction, for example in Georgia, as there were fears that this would happen due to certain concessions, Biden, being the vice-president who voiced the policy of resetting with Russia, already passed this stage of hopes and disappointments. He knows very well the political essence of today’s Russia. And the candidates who are supposed to take key posts in the new administration are people who know our region well. Accordingly, Georgia should expect that there will be interest, but it will also be more difficult, as most likely there will be a closer observation of the process of democratic reforms, ”Mchedlishvili said..