Has GD Isolated Georgia with its Obscure Foreign Politics?

Georgian Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili on his assessment of NATO’s meeting in Brussels this month, said that if Georgia drops the Abashidze-Karasin format, things for us will get more difficult in terms of getting MAP.

“One of the main questions asked of me was if the government of Georgia was going to drop the Abashidze-Karasin format. They hear such statements from Georgian politicians and believe that if this happens, if the government abolishes this very small, not so effective, but essential line in relations with Russia, then our situation will worsen in terms of relations with NATO,” he declared to the Public Broadcaster, adding “NATO member states do not want to grant the Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia if it leads to a new conflict with Russia. NATO is not looking for a new pretext for a conflict with Russia.”

Usupashvili went on to say that the government is managing to move towards strategic goals in an effort to avoid problems for the country and if others do so, efforts will be made to solve such problems with the help of the international community. 

At the same time, Tina Khidasheli, Georgian Defense Minister, says that there is not a single country in NATO that would oppose granting MAP to Georgia.

“I can tell you with full responsibility that not a single NATO member country exists that is either skeptical or against granting MAP to Georgia; meaning Georgia deserves the Membership Action Plan. They count that 11 months are ahead [before the Warsaw summit] and they just find it difficult to give a direct answer at this point in time.’

The newly appointed Republican Minister assesses that Ukrainian events as a window of opportunity in the sense that Russia is not ready to open a 2nd, 3rd or 17th front; if it did, it would already have done so.

Minister Khidasheli also remarked on Russia’s new naval doctrine released last week on the Kremlin website that aims at boosting the strategic positions of Russia’s navy on the Black Sea and aspires to maintain an Atlantic and Mediterranean presence to prvent NATO expansion eastward. “For me, as the Minister of Defense, it is more interesting what kind of document will be adopted at the NATO Ministerial in December than the Russian military doctrine.”


It is not hard to find some positional differences between Usupashvili and Khidasheli, who not merely represent their family, but the whole Republican Party; the single force which is considered most western-oriented among the other coalition members of Georgian Dream.

Usupashvili’s statement can be assessed as part of the long-failed GD rhetoric that Georgia would be able to normalize relations with Russia - the very purpose the Abashidze-Karasin format was established for. At the same time, the first female Defense Minister, following her appointment, has continually stated that Georgia should get MAP at the Warsaw Summit. Surprisingly, believing in ‘western agreement’ to grant Georgia MAP in several months, Khidasheli seems to be forgetting the NATO Budapest Summit of 2008, in which Germany was one of the European countries that specifically blocked granting MAP to Georgia.

In addition, analyzing Georgia’s current domestic and international political life, it can be assessed that Georgian Dream has prepared a non-traditional cocktail blending Georgia’s western integration, Russian normalization and the country’s security issues so strongly with one another that it is hardly possible to find any clear ways to make Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic course stronger and irreversible.

Will Georgia get MAP at the NATO Warsaw Summit? Has GD isolated Georgia with its obscure foreign politics.

Zviad Adzinbaia

30 July 2015 21:18