Georgia was one of the countries discussed at the NATO Summit in Vilnius. The country, which has been a candidate since 2008, did not feature prominently on the agenda, but its name was included in the communiqué. There are still questions about the acceptance of the Caucasian state’s accession to the alliance.
Georgia‘s accession to NATO was one of the topics of the Vilnius Summit. However, not much was said about Georgia, one of the most committed candidates and NATO partners.
Georgian political analyst Kornely Kakachia, who attended the Vilnius summit, told Eurasianet that “nobody talked about Georgia” during the summit.
According to Kakachia, Georgia was present at the summit as a “neutral country” rather than the aspiring member candidate it once was.
HAS GEORGIA BEEN ACCEPTED AS A MEMBER OF NATO?
Georgia’s application to join the Alliance at the 2008 Bucharest Summit, along with that of Ukraine, has been hotly debated for years.
While Georgia has failed to secure an accession timetable, its application, unlike Ukraine’s, has undergone some positive changes.
“To advance its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, Georgia must make progress on reforms, including key democratic reforms, and make best use of the ANP [Annual National Program],” said the summit communiqué issued by NATO leaders on July 11.
But Georgia did not see any progress at NATO’s Vilnius Summit.
Over the past years, various Western and NATO officials have given a positive assessment of Georgia’s overall readiness to join.
WHY CAN’T GEORGIA JOIN NATO?
Georgia declared its desire to join the alliance more than two decades ago to protect itself from the Russian threat. But since the 2008 Bucharest summit, when the alliance said that Georgia and Ukraine would become NATO members, the country has been stuck in limbo and in what experts describe as NATO’s “open doors”, without any clarity on when and how this would happen.
This lack of progress is often blamed by politicians on Georgia’s ongoing territorial conflicts with Russia and, to some extent, a lack of democratic reform.
Critics blame Tbilisi’s policies and the Georgian government’s apathy for Georgia’s failure.
Georgian officials blame the summit results on the West’s failure to fulfill its promises.
Nevertheless, over the years the alliance’s support for Georgia and mutual cooperation has been growing. Georgia contributes as a close partner to the bloc’s military missions abroad.