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Walter Russell Mead: “Georgia’s New Policy for Visa Free Travel for Residents of Northern Caucasus Seriously Annoyed USA.”

05.11.2010
USA’s foreign policy analyst, expert Walter Russell Mead strictly criticizes Georgian government for adoption of new policy for visa free travel for residents of Northern Caucasus. He states that this move angered not only Russia but seriously annoyed USA as well.

“The move angered Russia and seriously annoyed the United States, which does not want Georgia poking at the Russian bear; the US also objects, strenuously, to the idea of Islamic militants crossing the Georgia border and then roaming freely around a country with many US Peace Corps volunteers, diplomats and other personnel,” – states Mead whose position was published on American Interest.

Besides, Mead states that this move of government also struck a blow at Georgia’s relations with EU.

“Georgia’s hopes for easing the restrictions on Georgians working in or traveling to the EU were not furthered by demonstrating a careless attitude toward a serious security issue on its frontiers,” – states Mead.

Besides, he thinks that “the foreign investors Georgia seeks desperately to lure will also be put off by this decision.”

“As far as I could determine, the Georgians did not consult with the Europeans, the Americans or anyone else before taking this step, reinforcing the belief that Georgia’s hotheaded leadership is unpredictable and impulsive. The hard and even brutal lesson that Georgia needs to learn is this: NATO’s European members will not accept a rash and headstrong Georgia into the alliance. The behavior of the Georgian president, rightly or wrongly perceived as reckless and rash by both Europeans and Americans, has so spooked the NATO alliance that Georgia will not be joining it anytime soon. There is approximately zero prospect that Georgia will join NATO anytime soon. There is even less chance that the Russian occupation of large chunks of Georgia will end in the near future. Georgian anger and fear given these facts is natural and understandable. But rash Georgian action will only make a bad situation worse — perhaps catastrophically worse, – states American expert and adds that “Georgia’s worst enemy could scarcely have harmed the country more.”

Information Agency Pirveli
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