Georgia Will Soon be in NATO and Moscow Must Respond by Expanding Networks with Breakaway States, Russian Analyst Says
July 20 – Following the NATO summit in Brussels, Aleksey Beliyev says, Moscow
must recognize that Georgia is going to become a member of the Western alliance
very soon, quite possibly as others have suggested, even without having to
fulfill a Membership Action Plan (MAP).
he continues, Moscow has not taken the necessary steps to do so up to now, with
one project after another left unfunded or repeatedly delayed. But the
imminence of Georgia’s membership in the Western alliance leaves the Russian
side with no defensible option except to restart these projects and launch
others – and to begin to do so right now.
immediately striking aspect of Beliyev’s article today is that he views the
question of Georgian membership in NATO as an imminent done deal, a remarkable
position for him to take given that Vladimir Putin clearly hopes he can
intimidate alliance members into at a minimum delaying admission of Tbilisi by
threatening a harsh response to any such action.
sure, the analyst says, NATO has not give an exact date for Georgia’s
“inevitable” admission, “but in the opinion of many experts this process is
hardly likely to be drawn out.” And NATO advisors are already flooding into
Georgia, focusing their attention on Georgian border regions between Abkhazia
and South Ossetia.
not excluded,” Beliyev argues, “that intelligence and/or military objects of
NATO will be places in Pageri, Oni and/or Mestia, that is – and [he] stresses
this yet again – in that part of northwestern Georgia which adjoins the Georgian-Russian
border and at one and the same time geographically separates Abkhazia and South
It is precisely
in this region that the Georgian authorities are planning to extend over the
next two years existing railroad lines from Tkibulil and/or Dzhvari, linking it
to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars line and giving NATO enormous opportunities for rapid
maneuver. Russia must react to that promptly.
emerging situation, the accelerated establishment of a unified transportation-economic
and on the whole defensive infrastructure space of the Russian Federation,
Abkhazia and South Ossetia is taking on especially great importance.” Unfortunately,
Beliyev says, talk about such projects has far exceeded progress on the ground.
to the analyst, “the military-strategic importance of these projects for the security
and development of economic cooperation among Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia
and even more in the context of the ever more rapid coming together of Georgia
and NATO is obvious.”
article, Beliyev describes the various rail and highway proposals that have
been made over the years to address these problems and the general failure of
Moscow to ensure that plans become realities.Now with Georgia set to become a NATO country, perhaps the Russian
government will take action.
broader context,” he says, “South Ossetia and Abkhazia have for a long time
already needed to be more closely integrated into the Organization for the
Collective Security Treaty, which besides everything else, will accelerate the realization
of such projects” linking these two unrecognized states with Russian territory.