The American Heritage Foundation has published a review of Georgia-US bilateral relations and the 2020 Action Strategy. The organisation estimates that the 2020 US priority should be to ensure openness and transparency of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia.
Heritage Foundation: US should help Georgia to find Anaklia Port Investor
By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, February 4
The organisation cites signing of the Free Trade Agreement with Georgia as another priority. Also, among other economic priorities, the Heritage Foundation cites Georgia's support for the construction of the Anaklia deep-sea port and assistance in finding a new investor.
As the report notes, Georgian politics have been in turmoil over the past year. Dozens of protests have occurred since June 2019. Subjects of the protests have included a Russian Member of Parliament occupying the Georgian parliamentary speaker’s seat, Russia’s illegal occupation of Georgia, LGBTQ rights, and the calling for resignations of several Georgian leaders.
It also focuses on the electoral system, as it reads, the promised proportional system was voted down by the government.
“It is critical that the October 2020 elections are free and fair. Otherwise, Georgia could be faced with even more political instability. Georgia is a beacon of hope within the Eurasian region because its democratic endeavors drastically differ from its post-Soviet neighbors,” reads the report.
The report also names Anaklia Port Project as one of the most important projects that can elicit much of the country’s untapped logistic potential and “make Georgia's name more prominent on the map.”
The report also lists support Georgia’s NATO aspirations as one of the priorities. As the report states, by not being a NATO member, Georgia more vulnerable to Russian aggression and the occupation.
“For the past 12 years, Georgia has submitted to NATO Allies an Annual National Programme to receive advice on various reform objectives. Likewise, NATO supports Georgia through the Substantial NATO–Georgia Package, which works to strengthen Georgia’s defense abilities,” reads the report.
According to the report, for Georgia’s membership NATO would need to be creative. To do so, NATO could amend Article 6 of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, which defines the specific territories that fall under Article 5 protection. This would temporarily exclude the Russian-occupied regions from Article 5 protection, but all of Georgia would join NATO.
On the strengthening of the Bilateral Defense Relationship, the report reads that the United States and Georgia have one of the strongest bilateral defense relationships in Eurasia.
“The U.S. values Georgia as a partner. Since the 2008 war, the U.S. has provided Georgia with more than $750 million in military assistance. The Trump Administration, specifically, has been a strong advocate for Georgia,” reads the report.
The mission of The Heritage Foundation is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.