Khidasheli MAP for Georgia – Reuters

Reuters has reported that Tina Khidasheli, Georgian Defense Minister, is seeking a NATO Membership Action Plan, known commonly as a MAP, for Georgia, as the newly appointed Minister visited Brussels at the beginning of June.

“On the job for just three weeks, Georgia’s new defense minister was in Brussels this week to kick off a tough mission - persuading the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to give her embattled country a path to membership at its summit next year,” wrote the global information agency

“Specifically, Georgia wants a Membership Action Plan, considered the final stepping stone to joining, at NATO’s July 2016 summit in Warsaw. However, some NATO members question whether Georgia has democratized enough, and they worry about extending their mutual-defense guarantee to a country that neighbors Russia and whose territory is partly controlled by it” - the analysis says.

Khidasheli has stated during official meetings at NATO HQ that the NATO summit will come in the midst of a Georgian election campaign and that rejection by the Alliance could hurt pro-Western parties. “If the answer is negative from Warsaw - you can take my word for it, and I hate to say it - but it will have an immediate implication for the election results,” she warned.

Reuters notes that some countries are caught between Russia and the West which obstructs their decision-making regarding Georgia which is among NATO’s top partners and last year signed a sweeping political-and-trade deal with the European Union.

The article adds that Khidasheli had been made aware of Putin’s latest activities on Georgian territory during the meeting.

“During an interview at the Metropole Hotel in downtown Brussels, Mrs. Khidasheli was interrupted by a chime on her phone, alerting her that Mr. Putin was meeting with the ‘president’ of South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov,” stated the article.

Georgia’s new defense minister suggested that western leaders are uncertain about Georgia. “You do not really see an agenda,” she said. “What do these states want to do? How do they see the world in 10 years?” she asked before claiming that if Montenegro is invited to join NATO this year then Georgia should follow. “My plan is to work as hard as possible, to push as hard as possible,” Khidasheli said. “Everyone who knows me will know that it’s not going to be easy to talk to me and to deal with me. If I am desperate, then that’s it,” she added.

11 June 2015 22:07