The National Interest: “Understanding Georgia’s Evolution”

“Georgia’s ambitions to join NATO and the EU are as strong as ever.", Nov 15, 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has put former Soviet republics on the Western radar, and Georgia’s recent dismissal and resignation of three ministers integral to the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration has come under the spotlight, writes Tedo Japaridze on a blog post for The National Interest.

Commentators were quick to emphasize former Defence Minister’s pro-Western credentials, which cast into doubt the commitment of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition to its Euro-Atlantic trajectory. Some suggested GD was not Western in orientation and was using the judicial process to punish its political rivals.

These suggestions are unfounded. The recent dismissal and resignations are domestic political issues and have no connection to the course of foreign policy,” writes Tedo Japaridze

"Political disagreements erupt for many reasons and are a natural part of democracy, and in parliamentary democracies like Georgia’s—as is true of most European countries—political movement at these times often seems excessive.”

In the piece Japaridzde uses examples to explain why Georgia would and could not deviate from its Euro-Atlantic path, including the celebration when the Association Agreement was signed with the EU and the enhanced support package offered by NATO in September.

Georgia’s ambitions to join NATO and the EU are as strong as ever. No political party would seek to change this course, not least because of the inevitable backlash from voters, who overwhelmingly favor integration with NATO and membership in the EU.”

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