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What kind of treaty?

By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 19
A possible bilateral treaty between Georgia and the USA has been discussed informally over a long period. But the topic has attracted intense speculation since the visit to Georgia of two high ranking figures, John Kerry and Methew Bryza, one after the other. The details of any bilateral agreement are unknown so far but the fact of one being discussed has been confirmed.

Georgians expect guarantees of state security from this agreement. Tbilisi is scared that the Russian attack of August could be repeated, or a different type of assault attempted. Georgians have realized that European assistance is not enough to stop the Russian bear and tame it. In fact, let us say it openly: Russia is ignoring the EU brokered plan. It has only fulfilled the first paragraph and stopped the bloodshed. The rest are followed partially or not observed at all.

The Russian media openly discusses the possibility of launching another attempt to suppress and finally destroy Georgia. This country has tried its best to get an adequate protection from the EU or NATO, but in vain. Moscow has long arms! Its energy influence is still very powerful. The MAP refusal at the Bucharest summit was a clear signal to the Kremlin that it had a green light to attack Georgia. Who can guarantee that this will not be repeated any time now?

Under these circumstances the only way for Georgia to maintain its Western aspirations is to seek protection through a bilateral agreement. Georgia’s position on this is clear, now it is the US’s turn. It looks like the USA has taken the decision to provide one, most probably with the consent of the new administration, Although here in Georgia the authorities, opposition and analysts are very careful about how to comment on the treaty, the draft text of this being unknown. Indeed, up to now even its existence was top secret.

May be the leaking of the plan for a bilateral agreement was wrong, because Moscow’s irritation and reaction was immediate. It is also not clear what will follow this announcement. The questions are many, but the essential one is: will the US get involved in South Caucasus affairs when Russia claims to have the sole right to dominate this area?

The Kremlin will resist such a development in any possible way. It will use every lever. There are the threats to send tanks to Tbilisi and the ostensibly “kind “ gestures: Putin’s advisor, the active anti-Georgian Dugin, has, for instance aired the notion, presumably cooked up in Kremlin corridors, that if Georgia gives up its plans to seek an alliance with the USA, Russia will be the guarantor of Georgia’s territorial integrity (!?). This is said after Moscow snatched 22% of Georgia’s land and recognised two “independent states” on it! Moscow stubbornly does not realize one thing: that it pushed itself away Georgia by supporting and encouraging separatism there. Otherwise Georgia could have been a friendly, good-neighbour state welcoming commercial, cultural and religious interrelations, which have long historic traditions.

The USA has bilateral agreements with Israel, South Korea and the Baltic States. It is said that the Georgian leadership has used these treaties as examples. We don’t know for sure. But what we are sure of is that the priority of any agreement will be military support, an air defence system and other similar issues.

If such a treaty really is concluded it will certainly calm Moscow’s direct aggression but increase its grudge against Tbilisi, which could take many forms. Georgia’s current administration is already describing the possible bilateral agreement as a victory for its diplomatic and political wisdom. It would be better, however, to understand it as a step towards securing democracy, not the wellbeing of any political group or person.