Washington Times releases article by Georgian PM: ‘Georgia deserves membership in NATO’

Georgian PM Giorgi Gakharia says that Black Sea security is unimaginable without Georgia’s active involvement. Photo: government of Georgia press office. 

Agenda.ge, Feb 25, 2020, Tbilisi, Georgia

The Washington Times has released an article by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia in which he speaks about Georgia’s role in Black Sea security, the country’s importance for NATO, the US and the European security. 

Gakharia says that renewed hostilities in Ukraine once again underscore what is at stake for the Black Sea region as a ‘focal point for competing geopolitical powers’. 

The Black Sea serves as a buffer along Europe’s southern flank, helping to protect Europe, NATO and vital US interests from hostile powers,” Gakharia said, adding that the Black Sea is also becoming the crossroads of high value trade seeking the fastest route from Europe to Asia and Asia to Europe, ‘including seizable amounts of American exports, and it figures in the geography of critical energy pipelines to Europe and world markets.’

Gakharia states that Russia sees this ‘strategic waterway’ as its entrance to the distant fronts it covers, for example Syria, North Africa and parts of the Eastern Mediterranean. 

But to move beyond the Black Sea, or to prevent others like the United States from entering it, Russia must exert pressure on other Black Sea states that lie near the Bosporus, the snake-like waterway that links the Black Sea via Turkey to the larger oceans to the south.” 

NATO has intensified its efforts for Black Sea security. Photo: uti.eu.com.

He says that Russia’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine intensified this pressure.

Before this, in 2008, it occupied approximately 20 percent of Georgia’s territory, including Georgia’s critically strategic coastal territory of Abkhazia. Russian illegal occupation of our land remains to this day.” 

Gakharia says that the issue of geopolitical security in the Black Sea is a challenge that cannot be solved without Georgia’s support.

Georgia's geography, its defence and security attachments, and its proven commitment to Western and transatlantic objectives make it an essential pillar of emerging strategies for NATO cooperation.

Gakharia expressed his gratitude to the US, Turkey and other allies for their ‘relentless support’ for Georgia’s NATO membership. 

Russia continues to oppose full NATO membership for Georgia. Now is the time for NATO to answer our call for membership. Georgia has been promised full membership repeatedly by NATO’s leadership, and we remain hopeful that challenges to our NATO accession will be overcome — and soon. More Georgia in NATO and more NATO in Georgia  will strengthen Black Sea and Western security and also strengthen Georgia's democracy and growing economy.” 

He said that in the meantime, Georgia will continue to work closely with the United States and other NATO members to strengthen Black Sea security.