Rasmussen: Georgia Has Come a Long Way

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary-General of NATO, is visiting Tbilisi within the frames of The 5th Tbilisi International Conference, organized by the McCain Institute for International Leadership and the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC).

Rasmussen evaluated the current situation in Georgia and the country’s road to development.

“I think that Georgia has come a long way and accomplished many things. Especially in the military field – Georgia levels up to the standards of NATO. Of course, that’s not all – you have carried out many important and successful reforms; fighting against corruption, etc. You shall continue down this road,” stated Rasmussen at the conference.

Former Secretary-General of NATO also touched upon the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the problem it rises with the 5th article of NATO’S Regulation (“Article 5 provides that if a NATO Ally is the victim of an armed attack, every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked“).

“It is obvious that the unsolved conflict about the border of Abkhazia and South Ossetia with Russia is a big issue. So this question follows the subject: how can this problem be solved?
I believe that this issue should be discussed within the borders of Georgia. Would you accept the mechanism that would ensure the 5th Article of NATO’S Regulation be carried out only on the territorial parts of Georgia that the country controls? We should also answer this question in NATO.

Upon mentioning the issue, Rasmussen made a comparison and recalled divided Germany joining NATO alliance in 1955.

“NATO Regulations were not enforced in East Germany. However, when Germany was united in 1991 article 5 started functioning in the East part of the country, too. A similar mechanism could be worked out in Georgia – but, first, of course, it needs to be discussed in Georgia and NATO separately.
That being said, I believe that we should make it work. If not, we would practically give President Putin a right to de facto veto – confirming that he can block Georgia, Ukraine or any other neighboring country from joining the NATO Alliance by starting up territorial conflicts,” stated Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the Tbilisi International Conference.

Image source: politico.eu
By Nini Dakhundaridze


10 September 2019 14:26