• Georgia Needs a Shorter Path for Membership in NATO, not a MAP

    The Warsaw summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has a chance to become another milestone in the history of the organization, if the alliance chooses to take the next step forward towards further enlargement.

    There are several aspirant countries expecting bold decisions. Georgia is one of them. The Georgian government is taking a more aggressive stand in demanding acknowledgment by the alliance of Georgia’s progress in political and military reforms. The Ministry of Defense issued a statement in June  stressing that Georgia requests a Membership Action Plan at the Warsaw summit and Minister of Defense Tina Khidasheli made several statements about the pro-active position that the government is going to take on this issue.

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  • With World Focused on Ukraine, Russia Makes Moves on Georgia

    Georgian official draws parallels between Putin’s treaties with breakaway provinces and annexation of Crimea

    While the world focuses its attention on the Ukraine crisis, Russia has been quietly grabbing territory from another neighbor—Georgia.

    The Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine is just the latest provocation by Russia in its neighborhood, Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Tamar Beruchashvili, reminded an audience June 12, pointing out that Russian forces invaded her country in the summer of 2008.

    “Unfortunately, at that time the West was not really able to well assess the whole danger of the situation and gave a green light to Russia to go ahead,” Beruchashvili said at the Atlantic Council’s Wrocław Global Forum in Wrocław, Poland.

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  • Why Saakashvili's Appointment as Odesa's Governor Actually Makes Perfect Sense

    On May 30, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko named former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili Governor of the Odesa region. There are a number of ways to interpret the bold move, but two historical analogies may be more apt: Saakashvili is either following in Duke of Richelieu's footsteps as an outside Governor of Odesa or the late CIA Director Richard Helms' path. Ukrainian politics are murky, but in Saakashvili's case, the motivation behind his appointment looks like a mixed bag. Saakashvili has been simultaneously promoted and exiled.
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  • The Odesa Gambit

    Mikheil Saakashvili has a varied resume: former President of Georgia, Justice Minister, parliamentarian, senior statesman, and Ukrainian presidential adviser. On May 30, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko added another line to his CV. He named Saakaskvili regional Governor of Odesa, a vulnerable and strategic port city on the Black Sea. Despite having served in Georgia through a number of high-stakes crises, this new position may turn out to be Saakashvili's most challenging yet.
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  • Turkey Condemns Russia's Actions in Ukraine and Georgia

    Turkey on Tuesday said nothing can justify Russia's actions in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet states, in a rare strong criticism of its increasingly close ally ahead of a NATO meeting.
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  • Melinda Haring

    Melinda Haring

    Editor, UkraineAlert

    melinda haring

    Expert Connect

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    Read Full Bio

    Recent Activity

    • August 14, 2019
      Dear Mrs. Zelenskyy, I’m not sure whether I should offer congratulations or condolences on the major life change that you and your family have undergone since your husband won the presidency. That said, I have followed your interviews with the
    • August 14, 2019
      The twentieth floor offers a spectacular, panoramic view of Kyiv. There’s limitless coffee, yellow cushions, plenty of space to stretch out, and fast, free WiFi. A small, fluffy puppy waits on one side of the floor to greet those who
    • August 08, 2019
      The picture-perfect venue of the second annual Ukrainian ID: International Economic Humanitarian Forum in Kaniv, Ukraine, was deceptive. From the place where national bard Taras Shevchenko lies in rest and the home of the Shevchenko museum, visitors are treated to
    • July 31, 2019
      On July 21, Ukrainians elected a new parliament that is younger, less experienced, happily contains more women than the previous one, and includes the country’s first African Ukrainian. Five political parties will enter the next parliament, and four of the
    • July 26, 2019
      Two months after political novice Volodymyr Zelenskyy was elected president of Ukraine, we still do not know what to expect. His early appointments and decisions are a mix of good and bad. Critics point to the appointment of Andriy Bohdan
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    Full Bio

    Melinda Haring is the editor of the UkraineAlert blog, which is the Atlantic Council’s most popular publication. Haring is a longtime observer of political developments in the Eurasia region, and her analysis has been featured in The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign PolicyNewsweek, Novoe VremyaThe American Interest, Kyiv Post, PRI, and broadcast and published by NPR, the BBC, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Voice of AmericaShe is the author of the report Reforming the Democracy Bureaucracy, coauthor of Ukraine’s Internally Displaced Persons Hold a Key to Peace (Atlantic Council, 2017), and a contributor to Does Democracy Matter? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)Haring has worked for Eurasia Foundation, Freedom House, and the National Democratic Institute, where she managed democracy assistance programs in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia. A graduate of Georgetown University, she holds an MA in Government with a certificate in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. Haring is the vice chair of the board of East Europe Foundation in Kyiv, Ukraine, and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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  • EU Aspirants Face a Closed, if Not Locked, Door on Enlargement

    Aspirant EU members Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are poised to leave the upcoming EU Eastern Partnership Summit disappointed, though not empty-handed.

    An advance draft of the Eastern Partnership declaration, to be unveiled at the summit on May 21 to 22 in Riga, Latvia, underscores the European Union’s drift away from stronger engagement with its partners.

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  • Rearticulating NATO’s Strategy Toward Georgia

    Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remark that the NATO summit in Chicago in 2012 should be “the last summit that is not an enlargement [one]” raised expectations in Georgia that were already quite high.

    Georgia is seeking the elusive Membership Action Plan (MAP), which is NATO’s program of advice, assistance, and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the organization. 

    A commitment such as MAP would be a powerful statement about the tangible rewards that can come from a democratic transformation like that in Georgia. NATO needs to overcome its ambivalence about Georgia’s credentials for Euro-Atlantic aspirations and rearticulate its strategy to ensure the credibility of its promises. Russia, by seizing sovereign Ukrainian territory, has already done much damage to Euro-Atlantic security.

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  • NATO Hopes to Open Training Center in Georgia in 2015

    From Retuers:  NATO said on Friday it hoped to open a training centre in Georgia by the end of the year, signalling a strengthening of its relationship with the former Soviet republic that is likely to antagonise Russia.
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  • Transit through Georgia – Potential for US Foreign Policy Success

    Georgia plays a growing, though little-known, role in the global economy. Strategically linked with Azerbaijan, it serves as a key element in the transportation network that connects landlocked, but resource-rich areas of Central Asia to world markets via its Black Sea ports and Turkey. Over one million barrels of oil and oil products cross Georgian territory daily using pipelines, the railways, and ports. For a decade, Georgian ports have also served as entry points for commercial and military cargo destined for Central Asia and Afghanistan. Azerbaijan and Georgia are expected to play a greater role in container transit between Asia and Europe in the years to come. A close ally of the US and NATO that has made significant troop contributions to Afghanistan, Georgia needs greater support for its security from the US as well as from multiple actors interested in Georgia’s growing transit potential.   

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