NATO Integration

Who Manipulates the Topic of Georgia’s and Ukraine’s Attendance on NATO Summit?

10 June, 2021

On May 19, the digital portal "Georgia and World" published an article titled "Georgia and Ukraine are No Longer Invited to NATO Summit" based on the Russian webpage iarex.ru. The article notes that even though official Tbilisi and Kyiv decided to attend the summit in any ranks, following the meeting of ambassadors of NATO member-states, it was disclosed that Alliance Members will hold a “very much closed summit" without Georgia and Ukraine. According to the article, the future of transatlantic relations will be discussed at the summit together with U.S president Joe Biden.

On June 2, “Georgia and World” also published Davit Mkheidze’s article writing that Ukraine hoped to receive "MAP" on June 14, Ukrainian delegation, as well as Georgian representatives, weren't even invited to the summit envoking disappointment and shock in Ukraine.

Also, on June 2, edition “Sakinform” published the comment from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova, who said that NATO’s decision not to invite Georgia and Ukraine at the June 14 summit resembles a parent’s behavior who sent their children “to do their homework”

On June 8, page “კარდჰუ” (Kardhu) published a post stating that for the first time in years, Georgia and Ukraine haven’t been invited to the NATO summit that will be held next Monday.

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“Kardhu’s” claim alleging that Georgia and Ukraine haven’t been invited to the NATO Summit “for the first time in years” isn’t true. Georgia only attended the 2016 and 2018 summits in the past 5 years. The articles by "Georgia and World" are manipulative and aims to leave an impression as if Georgia and Ukraine are no longer part of the NATO Agenda. In reality, per the NATO Secretary General’s statement before the summit, the issue of Russian aggression is part of the 2021 NATO summit agenda and will be among the discussed topics. Before the summit, Foreign and Internal Affairs ministers of member-states also discussed Ukraine.

NATO summit is planned to be held on June 14 and this time, only the member-states will be among the attendees. Non-member countries have also attended summits held in the past. Georgia attended 2 summits in 2016 and 2018 out of 4 summits held in the past 5 years. During that time, together with former Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili, leaders from Ukraine, Armenia, and Azerbaijan had also been invited to attend the summit. In 2017, Montenegro was the only non-member state attending the summit, while in 2019 it was North Macedonia that later became a member-state. Therefore, the claim alleging that Georgia and Ukraine haven’t been invited to the summit for the first time in years isn’t true.

Statements about Georgia and Ukraine not being invited to the NATO summit voiced by the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry's spokesperson, as well as pro-Kremlin editions are attempts to demonstrate that issues of the said states aren’t part of the NATO agenda.

In reality, the NATO Secretary General previewed the June 14 summit topics during the press conference ahead of the summit. The topics included Ukraine, as well as threats from Russia.

The main topic of discussion at the summit will be the NATO 2030 Agenda including strengthening NATO as a forum for political consultations and collective defense, modernization of capabilities, more investment, deepening partnerships, and defense capacity-building for partners, and stepping up the intensity of trainings.

On May 31, the NATO Secretary General answered questions from journalists at the press conference ahead of the meeting of NATO-member Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Defense. He noted one more time that Russia poses a challenge for the Alliance since the latter is willing to use military force in the neighboring states, Georgia and Ukraine, continue destabilization in North Ukraine, and illegally annex Crimea. He also stated that NATO's doors remain open and they continue to work with Georgia and Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General also mentioned that the 2012 summit will be short and reserved only for member-states, however, the next summit can potentially be bigger with more meetings included.

On the 1st of June, two weeks before the summit, NATO defense ministers discussed developments in Belarus and Ukraine at the teleconference. Following the meeting of NATO member ministers of foreign affairs, Jens Stoltenberg said to the journalists that one of the objectives of NATO 2030 will be to strengthen the role of the alliance in the preservation of international order, which is challenged by authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China.

It’s noteworthy that in 2021 NATO Secretary General held numerous meetings with Georgian government representatives. On March 17, he welcomed Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili at NATO headquarters, whereas on January 22, it was President Salome Zurabishvili he welcomed.

About the source

Russian news agency ИА REX, cited by “Georgia and World”, disseminates anti-western content and frequently publishes articles of Arno Khidirbegishvili, editor at the pro-Kremlin portal “Sakinform”, who is referred to as one of the experts on the webpage ИА REX.

Latvia (2012) and Lithuania (2009) have declared Iarex.ru editor, Modest Kolerov, persona non grata. The edition has previously disseminated disinformation, for example, about Europe starting to consider possible options of Ukraine division. Read more on the topic in the article prepared by “Myth Detector”:


By Keti Khutsishvili


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