UNM opposition party said that President Barack Obama’s NATO remarks on Georgia and Ukraine were not “favorable” for Tbilisi, but there is no need for “hysteria” about it.
UNM leaders said that reaction of the Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili on these remarks, however, was “alarming”.
“Of course this comment in the context in which it was made was not favorable for our national interests, particularly because Georgia was mentioned in the context of Ukraine,” said UNM’s foreign secretary Giga Bokeria, who was secretary of National Security Council under ex-president Saakashvili’s administration.
President Obama said on March 26 in Brussels when asked about NATO’s expansion to include Georgia and Ukraine: “I think that neither Ukraine or Georgia are currently on a path to NATO membership and there has not been any immediate plans for expansion of NATO’s membership.”
PM Garibashvili said on March 27 that there is no need to create “false expectations” about Georgia’s immediate NATO membership and U.S. President Barack Obama’s remarks in this respect were “absolutely adequate” and realistic.
UNM’s Bokeria said that unlike Ukraine, which “at this stage has no ambition of joining NATO”, Georgia has been considered as an aspirant country together with Bosnia and Herzegovina; Montenegro and Macedonia.
“But these remarks [by President Obama] of course were not about the United States’ vision about future of Georgia’s NATO membership, neither it was about specific issue of granting MAP to Georgia… so there is no need for any exaggerated hysteria about it,” he said.
“But the reaction of our government, in particular reaction of Prime Minister Garibashvili, to this disadvantageous for us remarks, was alarming,” Bokeria continued. “The Prime Minister actually told us that we should put up with some kind of reality. This reaction represents a demonstration of a policy that we have been seeing under the new government – that is inconsistent, uncoordinated, unmotivated and non-ambitious policy and position.”
“Instead of thinking about how to work with our strategic partners and how to intensify communication in response to these unfavorable for us remarks, Prime Minister’s immediate reaction was that we should put up with this. That’s not how the job can be done. If government of a country has no clear position and is not motivated, others will not do a job for us,” he added.
He called on the government to “put aside this short-term populism about mending ties with Russia and become fully focused on this risky, but potentially favorable for us moment in history, and to make step forward.” Bokeria also said that foreign policy success of Georgia in terms of planned signing of the Association Agreement with the EU “is a legacy inherited by the incumbent government from its predecessor.”