Confronted with the most daunting security challenge since the end of the Cold War, North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders are preparing to gather in the United Kingdom for a September 4-5 summit. Officials in Georgia – which, like Ukraine at present, has direct experience with Russian aggression -- want NATO to show greater resolve in confronting the Kremlin’s creeping expansionism.
Georgia has spent the last decade aspiring to join NATO in the belief that Atlantic alliance membership would offer a strong deterrent to Russian bullying. (Russian troops continue to occupy portions of Georgia just over six years since the two countries fought a five-day war). Yet, the alliance’s response so far to Russia’s belligerent actions in Ukraine has left policymakers in Tbilisi underwhelmed.
“Ukraine has made it exceptionally clear . . . how much is at stake,” said Georgian State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili. It is “no time to falter now.”
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Elizabeth Owen is EurasiaNet.org's Tbilisi-based news editor for the Caucasus, Moldova and Turkey.