Yesterday, on 5 December 2022, we hosted a delegation of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Parliament of Georgia headed by its Chairperson, Prof Dr Nikoloz Samkharadze, for a discussion on the current situation in Georgia and the region. 

Moderated by the Executive Director of CEP, Ms Katja Geršak, the stimulating discussion focused on the current state of affairs of Georgia, its Euro-Atlantic aspirations and the effects of the Russian aggression on Ukraine on Georgia.

During the discussion, Mr Samkharadze emphasised that in 2008 Georgia was the first victim of Russia’s aggression, and they warned the West that they will not be the last one. We can now see the story repeating in Ukraine. Russia still poses a substantial danger to Georgia’s sovereignty and statehood since it still hosts several thousand Russian soldiers on the occupied territories that can be mobilised at any moment.

Russia’s appetite for Georgia was not triggered by the talks of Georgia’s NATO accession but was present from Georgia’s independence onwards and has been manifested on several different occasions when the territorial integrity of Georgia was violated. Nonetheless, Georgia is a stabilising country in the Caucasus region and could further strengthen this role if it would be a member of NATO and the EU. The support of Euro-Atlantic integration is widespread – more than 80% of the population supports joining NATO and the EU; moreover, the integration is supported by all the political parties. Whereas “in reality, Russia has veto power over NATO accession”, there is no “reasonable explanation” why the EU did not grant EU Candidate status to Georgia. Mr Samkharadze and his colleagues see no other option than Georgia firmly embarking on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration.