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NATO 20/2020 January 5, 2021

End the Russian veto on Georgian accession: NATO 20/2020 podcast

By Transatlantic Security Initiative

Admitting Georgia to NATO without extending an Article 5 guarantee to the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Regions can fulfill the promise of the Bucharest Summit.

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About this episode

At NATO’s 2008 Bucharest Summit, the allies refused to go along with a US push to offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP), but agreed that it would someday become a member of the Alliance. Germany and France intended for this equivocation to allay Russian objections, yet it was seized upon by Vladimir Putin as an opportunity to block Georgia’s path to the Alliance. In August 2008, a mere four months after the Bucharest Summit, Russia invaded Georgia and occupied twenty percent of its internationally recognized territory. With some creativity and bold political will, however, Georgia’s accession into NATO is still feasible, despite the Russian occupation.

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Key takeaways

  • 1:55: Luke talks about the Bucharest Summit of 2008 and why Georgia was denied a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join NATO
  • 10:27: Luke talks about what it takes for a country to attain a Membership Action Plan and why Germany and France didn’t want Georgia in the Alliance
  • 12:54: Luke also shares why he thinks it is time to establish new mechanisms (aside from MAP) for inviting countries to join NATO
  • 15:35: Alexis gives three reasons why she thinks Georgia should be in NATO
  • 17:41: Luke explains what NATO wants from Georgia to make it a member of the Alliance
  • 20:39: Luke explains why NATO allowed Montenegro and North Macedonia in but still left Georgia out
  • 21:41: Luke talks about the roles of Articles 5 and 6 in terms of Georgian accession protocols
  • 25:13: Alexis and Luke also talk about how Russia is likely going to feel threatened if Georgia were able to get a MAP
  • 28:56: Alexis explains why there is little appetite to invite Georgia into the Alliance
  • 29:47: Alexis explains what would happen if Georgia got tired of waiting for NATO to allow it to be a member
  • 30:30: Luke talks about the importance of US leadership on extending NATO membership to Georgia
  • 32:17: Luke talks about what Georgia and NATO need to do together to resolve the issue and what role Georgian officials have to play in this
  • 35:07: Luke shares his thoughts on the possibility of the Biden’s Administration’s role in helping develop a responsible, realistic and reasonable path for Georgia to join the Alliance

Read the essay

NATO 20/2020

Oct 14, 2020

End the Russian veto on Georgian accession

By Luke Coffey and Alexis Mrachek

Admitting Georgia to NATO without extending an Article 5 guarantee to Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region can fulfil the promise of the Bucharest Summit.

Europe & Eurasia NATO

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The Transatlantic Security Initiative, in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes and influences the debate on the greatest security challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance and its key partners.

Image: U.S. Soldiers, assigned to the 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, wait near their Stryker vehicle during the tactical road march for the Noble Partner 20 exercise from Senaki Air Base, Georgia, to Vaziani Military Base, Georgia, Sept. 6, 2020. Exercise Noble Partner is designed to enhance regional partnerships and increase U.S. force readiness and interoperability in a realistic, multinational training environment. The exercise allows participants to conduct situational training exercises, live-fire exercises and combined mechanized maneuvers. The 4th Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment (Sabers) will lead the exercise for 2d Cavalry Regiment.