Georgia Shouldn’t Be a NATO Member – American Expert
Daniel Larison, American political scientist, speaking about the ninth anniversary of the August 2008 war, stressed that the commitment made at the Bucharest summit earlier that year significantly added to the tensions between Russia and Georgia. According to him, promising that Georgia would one day become a member of the alliance alarmed Moscow and gave false encouragement to the Georgian government.
In his opinion, combined with other expressions of United States support for Georgia during the Bush years, this commitment by the alliance led then-President Saakashvili to believe that Washington and other Western powers would come to Georgia’s aid in the event of a conflict. Saakashvili recklessly escalated the low-level conflict in South Ossetia and triggered a war with Russia by shelling Tskhinval, where Russian troops were stationed in a peacekeeping role, Larison stressed.
As a result of the war, Russia recognized the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, thus making their reintegration into Georgia much less likely than it was before the war, analyst said. He pointed out if Georgia’s NATO aspirations were fanciful before the 2008 war, they became preposterous after it. Reviving talk of Georgia’s future NATO membership today is irresponsible and dangerous. It is also cruel to keep giving Georgia more false encouragement that it will be able to join the alliance at some point. It isn’t going to happen, and it does no one any good to keep pretending otherwise, he resumed.