NATO Integration

Separatist Regimes, „Patriots“, and Russian Experts Similarly Understand Rasmussen’s Initiative

19 September, 2019

On September 10, at the 5th Tbilisi International Conference, organized by the Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC) and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, the former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen voiced an initiative that the Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty be enacted for occupied Georgian terriotires only after the country restores its territorial integrity and until that happens, Georgia be integrated into NATO through accelerated procedures. The initiative was followed by speculative statements from pro-Russian parties. Interest groups were spreading an opinion that this initiative would imply Georgia’s accession to NATO through conceding Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, despite the clear explanation by the initiative’s author that he was referring to a German model – a step-by-step accession to NATO.

Representatives and experts of the Abkhazian and Ossetian separatist regimes, Russian experts, and, on one occasion, even the representatives of the ruling party of Georgia – Georgian Dream, understood Rasmussen’s initiative similarly.

Politicians and Experts of the Separatist Regimes

Georgian Pro-Russian Politicians

Russian Pro-Governmental Experts

Georgian Dream

Alan Jusoiti, so-called President Administration of Tskhinvali: “Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognized as territories, countries, Georgia joins NATO and relations, mutual activities with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as independent territories, begin.”

Inal Khashigi, Abkhaz expert: “The implementation of this scenario will be perceived in Abkhazia as the recognition of Abkhazia as an independent country by Georgia.”

 

Dmitry Medoyev, Foreign Minister of the so-called South Ossetia: “We do not want Georgia to become a NATO member, as such neighbor would seriously threaten our country and the entire Caucasus region.”

 

Irma Inashvili, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia: “I assess the idea suggested by this [Anders Fogh] Rasmussen as an attempt to drag Georgia in a war… This means that they will slowly lead us towards recognition of Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.”

 

Giorgi Lomaia, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia: “Nobody wants to get involved in a war against Russia because of our country. Therefore, they force us to recognize the occupied territories and establish our new borders without those two. They are telling us to think about it.”

 

Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia: “Accession of Georgia to NATO so that the Article 5 does not cover Sokhumi and Tskhinvali is the same as Georgia becoming a NATO member without Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.”

 

Nino Burjanadze, Democratic Georgia: “People offering us Georgia’s NATO membership through its division do not care about Georgia.”

 

Kakha Kukava, Free Georgia Party: “Rasmussen’s statement represents a strategic threat for Georgia, because if this position gets accepted and, as Rasmussen says, discussions are opened in this regard, then the process that was launched with regards to Serbia several years ago, will inevitably be launched for Georgia, too.”

 

Stanislav Tarasov, Political Scientist: “Rasmussen offers a simple thing – conceding South Ossetia and Abkhazia, recognizing their independence.”

Armen Gasparyan, Sputnik Columnist: “Rasmussen said that despite Abkhazia and South Ossetia making it uncomfortable, they still have to accept Georgia to NATO, so that its territorial security is protected. However, I do not understand, who represents a threat for the Georgian territory? Does such country exist?"

Gia Volski, Georgian Dream: “Neither we nor any other political forces will refuse these territories, as this would imply going against history and country – something that will benefit no one.”


Speaking at the 5th Tbilisi International Conference co-organized by McCain Institute and Economic Police Research Center, former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen outlined the terms of invoking Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

“If one day we consider Georgia ready to join the alliance, we also have to make sure that Article 5 is still credible, which would require NATO to actually help Georgia, if Georgia is attacked. But obviously, it is the problem to have unresolved border disputes with Russia in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. So, the question is how could that be resolved. I think you have to discuss internally in Georgia would you in that case be willing to accept, that Article 5 will only cover the territory that is actually controlled by the Georgian government. And the NATO will also have to reflect on exactly the same question,” Rasmussen said.

What does Article 5 imply?

According to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence. Article 5 does not determine territorial borders of member states.

Accession of occupied territories to NATO – Germany’s example

Germany joined NATO in 1955, but Article 5 was applied only to West Germany. Following Germany’s reunification in 1990, German Democratic Republic (East Germany) also joined NATO as part of reunified Germany.

Publications released by the Myth Detector on this topic are provided below: