Russia Should Recognize Georgia’s Wish to Join NATO: Experts
Azerbaijan, Baku, 23 January /corr. Trend A.Gasimova / "Russian-Georgian relations may improve due to Russia's recognition that Georgia wants to join NATO," said an expert from the US Columbian University, Lincoln Mitchell.
After his re-election as President of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, stated that the country's interests include friendly relations with Russia. "We suffer from an absence of good inter-State relations [ Russia and Georgia] and absence of normal economic relations," Saakashvili said, adding that he would like to have friendly relations with all countries, especially with Russia, for future generations.
"I think President Saakashvili's desire to improve relations is real, but he wants to do this on terms that are consistent with his, and the Georgian people's interests That is to say that improved Russian-Georgian relations need to be based on an understanding that Georgia is a sovereign and independent state that will determine its own future. This includes, Russia's recognition that Georgia want to join NATO," the expert said.
According to official results of a referendum which was held on par with the presidential elections in Georgia on 5 January, 72.5% of population voted for the country's entry to NATO. The German politician for Russia, Alexander Rar, considers that Georgia will not be admitted to NATO if it is at war with Russia. " Georgia is ahead of Ukraine in efforts to join NATO. Now Georgia needs a real politician because Georgia will not be admitted to NATO if it is at war with Russia," Rar reported to Trend by telephone from Moscow on 22 January.
According to him, Saakashvili understands that he cannot permanently hope for the help of the Americans in its conflictwith Russia. The politician considers that Georgia has not joined NATO yet and will barely join during Saakashvili's presidential term.
"Saakashvili understands that the USA and Russia may return to a strategic partnership because of Ms Clinton and Dmitri Medvedov. The aggressive tone of Tbilisi towards Moscow was important in the beginning stage to become closer to NATO," he said.