"NATO has made it clear that Georgia's accession to the alliance is unrealistic"
Alexander Mchedelishvili for Caliber.Az
INTERVIEWS 07 July 2022 - 16:42
Caliber.Az presents an interview with retired Georgian Brigadier General Alexander Mchedelishvili.
- The EU has decided to give candidacy status to Moldova and Ukraine while Georgia was rejected because of certain problems. Why do you think the EU did that? Is there a possible political background here?
- The accession of a state to any union is always a political issue. The emergence of a new player is the main thing that this gives to the newcomer and the members of the union. If you look at it from this point of view, for the Georgian society the accession to NATO and the EU is primarily associated with security and stability of economic development. And with other benefits of the democratic society.
And what does the West get in return? Other than a headache from Russia? A shortcut to the East? Ridiculous. Territory for military bases against Russia? Not serious...
Because of the false expectations that Georgian politicians are responsible for, no one has ever seriously thought about this. The approach is very primitive. The West is a good uncle who will protect us from an evil uncle, Russia. And suddenly a good uncle demands from us to open a second front for the candidacy, which is far from EU membership. Instead of the expected safety, straight into battle. But if this were really the case, then it's still half the trouble.
NATO has made it clear that despite its open-door policy and increased cooperation, joining the alliance is unrealistic for us in the foreseeable future. This was once again confirmed at the recent Madrid summit. The same can be said with regard to the EU. The President of France has openly stated that one of the main reasons for refusing the candidate status is the geographical position of Georgia. All demands can be met, but, of course, geography cannot be changed. This is the reality that someone wanted to turn into a fake thesis - a second front instead of a candidacy.
- Had Saakashvili been in power, would the EU have given Georgia candidate status?
- No. First of all, if they had wanted to, they would have given it in 2008. After the conflict with Russia (they wouldn't have had time during the conflict). Secondly, if Saakashvili stayed in power, it's difficult to imagine where Georgia would be, and whether it could keep its statehood.
- What do you think, will Georgia's aspirations to join the EU moderate now?
- It depends on the government's ability and the public's understanding of what membership in the EU implies. If you clearly define the goals of state development, without false expectations, I think, on the contrary, everything will work out properly.
- Do you think Georgia should move towards the West or should it look to the East, towards Azerbaijan and Türkiye as well?
- I think one does not exclude the other. But I agree with you that Georgia needs to revitalize its foreign policy at the regional level.
- Last week some MPs left the Georgian Dream party. Is it possible to talk about a split within the ruling party?
- I do not think it is a split. It is more like preparing new forces to remove the marginal opposition from the political arena.
- In December the European Union is to make a decision on Georgia's status. What are your expectations? Will it be negative, like in June, or positive?
- It doesn't really matter. Türkiye has been an EU candidate for almost 30 years. At this stage, this status, even with an aforesaid period of time, is a subject of internal political confrontation, like the ball on the soccer field. The main thing is that the referee is not biased...
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