Former US defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged the United States to accelerate the process of Georgia’s accession to NATO, saying that in this former Soviet Republic is at stake “America’s vital interests”. The former defence Minister wrote in an article for The Wall Street Journal.
According to Rumsfeld, Georgia at the last parliamentary elections once again demonstrated a “deep commitment to Western values.” The Georgians demonstrated “the solidity of its democracy and a viable, pluralistic society,” the author writes.
The main party of Georgia was supported by the deep connection of the country with Europe and NATO and was carried out on the basis of this campaign, and all of them are in favour of closer strategic relations with the United States, indicates the former head of the Pentagon, noting that such position “is almost unique to the new States that emerged on the territory of the former USSR”.
According to Rumsfeld, the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili, a vote of confidence in the government which this week must Express the Parliament, personally assured him that the process was “irreversible”. That Rumsfeld visited Georgia and met with Kvirikashvili, the Georgian media wrote in June. It was reported that the Prime Minister thanked the former head of the Pentagon for work done in support of Georgia. Then it became known that the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili awarded Rumsfeld for his personal contribution to the strengthening and deepening of relations between the USA and Georgia order of the Golden fleece.
The article in the WSJ the former head of the Pentagon says that in response to such devotion of the Georgian authorities to Western values, the US must first remove all barriers on the way of Georgia to NATO membership. “Georgia needs without further delay to the plan of action on preparation for membership in NATO,” said Mr. Rumsfeld, quoted InoPressa.
“Unique perspective” of Georgia in a “difficult region”
However, says Donald Rumsfeld, to support the Georgian authorities striving for a more dense cooperation with the West, the US should not of philanthropy, but because Georgia is at stake is “America’s vital interests”.
Ex-defense Minister recalled the “unique perspective” of Georgia in a “difficult region” – because the country was “subversive action” on the part of Russia, borders with Turkey and establishing relations with Iran. All this, according to Rumsfeld, provides opportunities for the sharing of intelligence and operations in the field of counterintelligence.
The author of the article, noting that the Russian army continues to occupy more than 20% of the territory of Georgia, and having in mind the Russian military presence in the partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, calls on the US to increase its participation in the negotiations on the resolution of these issues and be prepared to take further steps to “increase the cost” to Russia for its occupation of Georgian territory.
It is noteworthy that only yesterday the US state Department again designated the unchanged position on the issue, opposing the ratification of the Moscow agreement on a unified group of troops of Russia and Abkhazia.
In addition, Donald Rumsfeld in the article notes the importance of Georgia for the transportation of energy resources from the Caspian region to Europe, and also as a barrier for jihadists from the former Soviet Union, following in the middle East.
“Her black sea ports to receive and send goods and raw materials from Asia and Europe, connecting the entire Eurasian continent,” writes Rumsfeld, mentioning in this context, the American construction company of a deepwater port in Anaklia, Georgian.
Recall Donald Rumsfeld twice with a break of almost 30 years he held the post of Minister of defense – first under President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977, and then under President George Bush from 2001 to 2006. He also led the White house during the Ford and held various positions in the administration of his predecessor, Richard Nixon. Rumsfeld was four times elected a member of the house of representatives of the U.S. Congress.
Georgia’s path to NATO
Georgia stepped up negotiations on cooperation with NATO and the prospects of joining the Alliance after the military conflict with Russia in August 2008. At a referendum held in the same year, 77% of the Georgian population voted for joining NATO. On 5 September 2014 in Wales at the NATO summit, Georgia was granted the package of “enhanced cooperation” under which the country received an opportunity to intensify the process of preparation for NATO membership.
In 2014, Georgia has agreed to host on its territory a joint training center in Georgia and NATO. In November of the same year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders and does not recognize the so-called Treaty on Alliance and strategic partnership, signed between Abkhazia and Russia. In March 2015, Stoltenberg said that NATO does not recognize the Treaty on Alliance and integration signed between South Ossetia and Russia.
The Georgian government that came to power after the elections in October 2012, called the main priorities of the foreign policy of the country membership in EU and NATO and normalization of relations with Russia. The current President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has repeatedly statedthat Russia poses a military threat to half of the Eurasian continent.
In the second round of parliamentary elections in Georgia in late October, which wrote to Donald Rumsfeld, 48 single-member constituencies out of 50 candidates won the ruling party “Georgian dream”. In the result, the ruling party won 115 out of 150 seats in the new Parliament. In the election program of the party’s main foreign policy priorities remained, as before, membership in EU and NATO and normalization of relations with Russia and to help begin a direct dialogue with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili said the new government, which will be submitted to Parliament for approval. Thursday, November 24, in Parliament starts the procedure of declaring confidence in the new government, according to the portal “Georgia Online”. The ruling party said it will support the new Cabinet. A vote of confidence to the Cabinet of Ministers headed by the former, presumably, will be announced at an extraordinary session on Saturday.