Defense One: “How to Admit Georgia to NATO - Without Triggering a War“

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze

Review by the Journalist of, 31 May 2018, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's long-standing aspiration of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation could be facilitated without the decision sparking a conflict between the alliance and Russia, says a new piece for Defense One website.

In the opinion piece by Luke Coffey, a "creative" option for admitting the country into the organisation is presented ahead of the NATO summit in Brussels.

[I]n December 2016, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared that Georgia 'has all the practical tools to become a member of NATO.' Even so, the country’s journey toward NATO membership has been long, at times frustrating —and apparently far from over", notes the article.

The author of the piece proposes a prospective solution outlined in their recent report for Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based organisation promoting conservative policies.

Explaining the political and security implications behind admitting the country into the alliance with around 20 percent of its territory under Russian occupation, Coffey proceeds to outline a move preventing Article 5 of mutual security intervention from being activated in such a scenario.

 All of Georgia’s internationally recognised territory, which includes the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia, could be invited to join NATO. However, NATO could amend Article 6 of the 1949 treaty (which defines which territories fall under the Article 5 protection) to temporarily exclude only the Russian-occupied region from NATO’s Article 5 protection", Director of the Heritage Foundation's Allison Centre says.

Coffey explains the move would be a temporary measure until Georgia's full territorial integrity could be restored using peaceful means, and also invokes historical cases as examples of flexible adaptation of NATO's Article 5 protection.

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