You have been wanting something for close to 15 years now. However, the thing that you want the most is suddenly given to two others, and you are left in the lurch. This thing represented security, stability, and power for you. It was what you desired every day for the past 15 years. Will you not feel betrayed?
Georgia has spent its time meditating with one goal in mind – getting accepted into the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). For years, American and European officials have been saying that Georgia is ‘technically ready’ to join the alliance. However, no concrete steps have been taken to actually make Georgia a part of NATO.
In June, the NATO summit in Madrid will lay down the path as to what the alliance’s goals, strategies, and blueprint will be for the next decade. The membership of Georgia, however, is not among the talking points scheduled to be taken up for discussion next month.
Georgia’s Gift Being Given to Sweden and Finland
What really hurts Georgia is the fact that NATO membership for the likes of Sweden and Finland is being fast-tracked. According to Eurasianet, Georgians now fear that the current round of expansion will be enough for NATO to swallow and leave Georgia continuing to wait on the outside. Sweden and Finland submitted their applications to NATO on May 18. NATO is working at a breakneck pace to pave the way for the two Scandinavian countries to join the alliance.
No such enthusiasm can be seen when it comes to NATO dealing with Georgia’s application. NATO is reluctant to take in Georgia due to the fact that large swathes of its territory are, in fact, controlled by Russia. The territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia house as many as 10,000 Russian troops. And then, South Ossetia is all set to hold a referendum in July on the question of the territory formally becoming a part of Russia.
NATO Does not Want Georgia
Sweden and Finland, as of now, have no conflict with Russia. Their policy of neutrality over the years has kept Moscow confident that the two countries will not become a breeding ground for the West’s war efforts on Russian borders. Of course, with their NATO applications, that dynamic has changed and the Kremlin will not sit back to mutely spectate.
The betrayal of Georgia by NATO, however, is a case study. In January, the German navy chief reiterated the skeptical attitude many NATO member states have about Georgian membership. At an event in India, he said, “Georgia is willing to become a member. Do they meet requirements? Yes, yes, they do. Is it smart to have them as a member? No, it’s not, no it’s not.”
For revealing the popular sentiment prevalent in NATO regarding Georgia and Ukraine, the German navy chief was forced to resign. Nonetheless, NATO’s dirty little secret was out.
What’s the secret?
That NATO seeks conflict with Russia in peaceful territories. When it comes to regions already embroiled in a conflict with Russia, NATO maintains a safe distance from all such frontiers. So, Ukraine and Georgia, which are already involved in conflicts with Russia cannot become members of NATO. Sweden and Finland, which have no conflict with Russia, though, can be given fast-tracked NATO membership. The hypocrisy is earth-shattering.
Georgians Turn Pro-Russia
Within Georgia, a conservative, pro-Russia party is gaining tremendous traction. It is rapidly opening new offices across the country and is also waging a campaign against NATO. Over the past two months, the Alt-Info party has been opening offices in the regions of Georgia one by one. At the same time, the amount of donations to the party is increasing daily.
According to Jam News, in one month, between February 16 and March 21, 2022, the party received a donation of 93,035 lari (about 30 thousand dollars) from 96 people. For an openly anti-Ukraine party to gain such funding really tells you about the anti-NATO sentiment brewing in Georgia.
The game NATO is playing in Eastern Europe is slowly being understood by Georgia. NATO’s discriminatory behavior could very well land Georgia in Russia’s camp soon.