Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 August/ Trend , corr V. Zhavoronkova/ Georgia's admission to NATO after the armed conflict in South Ossetia can cause confrontation between Europe and US. Some western experts believe Europe would never harm its relations with Russia because of it though US Administration does its best to accelerate Georgia's admission to NATO.
In April 2008, the NATO decided to postpone the issue of Georgia's admission into the Alliance until December of the current year. The Russian-Georgian military operation in the self-declared South Ossetia from 8 to 12 August changed the situation to some extent. President Mikheil Saakshvili said in his appeal to the Georgian people: "I am sure that Georgia will become member of the North Atlantic Alliance".
Until the hostilities in South Ossetia, NATO members did not have unified position on Georgia's admission to the North Atlantic Alliance. US insisted on the admission of Georgia to the western military organizations, but Germany and France, who did not wan to get involved in an undesired confrontation with Russia, vehemently opposed Georgia's admission to NATO.
"The NATO member states from Europe are
at the moment trying to avoid diplomatic irritations with Russia. As membership of Georgia would be considered a diplomatic affront by Russia, especially
European members are not pushing for it now," Arnold Kammel, the European expert said to Trend .
Berlin trying to avoid diplomatic irritations with Russia and European members are not pushing for it now, expert said.
"European member states are more hesitant as for them good relations with Russia are of great interest," Kammel said.
The US expert on NATO Martin Walker attributed this position to the supply of Russian energy sources to Europe. The Europeans accept that Russia is entitled to a sphere of influence, he said.
"Since the EU precludes the Russians from having such a sphere in the Baltic State or in Eastern Europe, they are content to sacrifice the Caucasus," Walker, Senior Fellow in the World Policy Institute said to Trend .
"Georgia accession to NATO will be long delayed. The Europeans will oppose it, concerned for the security of their energy supplies," he said.
"Long as they remain confident that Russian energy supplies are secured, at least until their internal energy reforms allow them to feel less dependent on Russian oil and gas," expert said.
The Russian expert Aleksey Vlasov believes that the position of Europe is quite skeptical toward Georgia's accession, because, the country with two unresolved conflicts with one of them being erupted recently, is striving for Alliance membership.
The Russian expert also said that the interests of US will play a major role in the process of Georgia's admission to NATO.
"This process is more likely to be accelerated until the current US Administration is in power,' he said.
"This is US project and at the moment NATO is used as an instrument of actions of the State Department," Vlasov, director of Center for Studying Post Soviet Space said to Trend .
Georgia's chances to join NATO have increased significantly due to the conflict in South Ossetia, Vlasov said.
The western experts also believe that it is US, precisely Bush Administration and Republican Party who plays a key role in Georgia's accession to the Alliance.
According to Walker, the United States under the Bush administration will support Georgia's accession, and so it would under a McCain administration, but probably not under an Obama administration.
"The U.S. sees Georgia as a key member of an emerging security system that slowly brings together NATO (including Turkey), the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iraq and India," Walker said.
"If NATO resists this emergent system, the U.S. is likely to proceed anyway, even under an Obama administration, seeing an important strategic interest in securing access to Caspian oil that is not under Russian control," the US expert said.
The US expert Bert A. Rockman believes that two factors hinder Georgia's accession one of them is that no one is going to war over Georgia and the US cannot and the west Europeans will not.
"Georgia and Ukraine and perhaps now also Poland want it and probably so do the neo-conservatives in the US who have a lot of difficulty dealing with reality, but it would be insane." Bert A. Rockman, authors of articles about the political structure of the US government and of the book The Bush Presidency: First Appraisals said to Trend .
"It is likely that if the situation does not change to a great extent, US will play the planned game to the end which aims at establishment of bridgehead of the Alliance in South Caucasus, more precisely, at Georgia's admission to NATO, the Russian expert Vlasov said.
NATO has been established in accordance with the North Atlantic Treaty signed on 4 April 1949 in Washington. The Organization included 26 states as of 2007.
E. Tariverdiyeva (Baku) and R. Agayev (Moscow) also contributed to this article.
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