NATO official Colomina: Georgia’s joining while NATO collective defence article does not cover occupied regions ‘not discussed’

Spanish diplomat Javier Colomina thinks that Georgia joining NATO while its collective defence article covers only the Tbilisi-administered territory will not benefit the country’s interests. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 07 Dec 2021 - 11:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Spanish diplomat Javier Colomina, who has recently taken the office of NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, says the alliance is not discussing the option of Georgia joining NATO with its fifth article on collective defence covering only the Tbilisi-administered territory. 

Former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated in 2019 that ‘it is time’ Georgia start discussions on whether or not to join the alliance while the article does not cover the Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia. 

He explained that the initiative did not mean the suspension of the non-recognition policy or the loss of the territories, and that the article would cover all of Georgia when the regions are reintegrated. 

Speaking at a recent online discussion organized by the Georgian Center for Strategy and Development (GCSD), Colomina said that the option is not being discussed by the alliance and that he does not think the initiative beneficial for Georgia. 

He stated that NATO ‘firmly’ supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that the message ‘is not for only Georgia, but also for rivals.’ 

He said that NATO wishes to see progress in terms of the Georgian occupied territories within the format of Geneva International Discussions. 

Colomina stated that Georgia has ‘all practical tools’ to become a member of the alliance, noting that the country ‘has been using the tools successfully.’ 

He said that Georgia should continue reforms to ensure its rapid integration into NATO.