New Security Challenges in Georgia and the Caucasus with David Usupashvili, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia

On Wednesday, March 4th, the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center hosted a discussion on security challenges in Georgia and the Caucasus with David Usupashvili, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia. The event was introduced and moderated by Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson.

David Usupashvili stressed the security threats facing his country since Georgia’s 2008 war with Russia. The Chairman reiterated Georgia’s intention to join NATO, and emphasized that Georgia has been more assertive in achieving membership goals than current NATO members. Usupashvili aired his frustration with what he saw as a lack of support from the international community for Georgia’s national security efforts.

The Chairman highlighted his country’s significant advances in electoral transparency efforts, economic reform, and adherence to the rule of law. Georgia has focused on fulfilling expectations from the international community. The Chairman urged the international community to see Georgia as a partner for addressing regional and global issues.

Despite the problems currently facing the transatlantic alliance and the former Soviet states, David Usupashvili was optimistic that countries in the post-Soviet space will continue to experience economic growth. As they invest in political reform, they will become key international partners for both Europe and Asia, he said. He concluded by saying that the way for the West to deal with growing Russian authoritarianism is to surround Russia with a belt of liberal, democratic neighbors like Georgia.