Georgia Lays Out Expectations For NATO Summit
The Georgian government had laid out its expectations for the upcoming NATO summit, that it would receive "visible signs" of support from the alliance. The country's deputy secretary of the National Security Council, Batu Kutelia also said that Georgia should "be registered as part of the structure" of NATO, reports Georgian newspaper Rezonansi (via BBC Monitoring):
In his words, "the Chicago forum will not be an expansion summit but Georgia should 'be registered as part of the structure' as an aspirant country, which would confirm that Russia, a country that is not a member of the alliance, cannot veto NATO's decision to expand."
Batu Kutelia: "Aside from specific results, our main goal is to ensure that there are strong visible signs too. By 'visible signs' I mean the things that even someone without a deep knowledge of the question would understand from a distance.
"This is important for our people, the international community, the NATO member-states, and Russia which should see that the process of Georgia's accession to NATO has not slowed down.
"The most important thing that we expect from the NATO summit is that the group of aspirant countries, which includes Georgia along with three other countries, will be registered as a certain separate structure. This would be the kind of visible signal that the whole world, including the Russian Federation, would be able to see."
Although BBC Monitoring just carried the report, Kutelia was speaking April 18, i.e. before a State Department official testified before Congress about the summit and gave no indication that there would be any sort of separate structure for the aspirant countries, including Georgia. Of course that doesn't mean there won't be any such structure, and Kutelia presumably wouldn't broadcast that expectation if there was a chance it wouldn't be met. But now there is at least a relatively concrete standard by which to judge Georgia's reward, whatever it will be, at the summit.
Joshua Kucera, a senior correspondent, is Eurasianet's former Turkey/Caucasus editor and has written for the site since 2007.