George Gamkrelidze

Russian invasion of Crimea has partially demolished European security system, as neither international organizations nor super power states could stop Kremlin on its way. Ukrainian crisis showed that the European states still miss security guarantees and there is not any treaty which can be fully trusted. The Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurance of 1994 has left Ukraine as a master of its fate during this crisis as the signatory sides are powerless to confront Russia and assure the territorial integrity and political independence of the state. It seems that the West didn’t study much from the previous lesson of 2008 when Russia made military intervention in the state only for the reason that Kremlin wanted to regain influence over disobedient neighbor streaming to join NATO. Besides, some European political groups criticized Georgia for improvident policy in order to please and take Russia dry out of water.

Ukrainian crisis shows that nowadays Russia is more prepared for everything then it was in 2008. Unfortunately the West follows the same path and repeats the same mistakes. Disappointment towards transatlantic unity is on surface. There are questions – which will be the next state? Can NATO guarantee security of the Baltic or Center-East European states? Will German, French or other societies push their national governments to protect societies of other NATO member states? Does transatlantic society have solidarity towards each other?

Still we have not seen NATO in real business of combating aggression against its member states, of course if we don’t take in account 9/11 terrorist attack, when the Alliance the first time in its history used the Article 5. In 2008 and 2013 NATO was not ready to protect its partner states which were confronting Russia for their Euro-Atlantic aspiration. Today we see that USA and EU have only sanctions in their arsenal which has “Chilling Effect” on Russian economy. NATO needs consolidated approach towards threats and every member state should work to increase military spending. Members should analyze that security is public good rather than supplementary burden.

Transatlantic unity needs solidarity between member states and their actions don’t have to oppose common interest. Members should overcome different perception on security; some states look confident that threats will not reach to them; others believe that it’ll be protected by the US. It’s trend that member states reduce military spending explaining it by economic crisis. In this response Alliance needs to ensure fair contribution and participation of all member states.

Some NATO member states oppose accession of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. They ban not only their accession but also refrain themselves to supply the mentioned states highly need defensive weapons. In parallel of it France made lucrative deal to sell the Mistral Warships to Russia which still is under negotiation. It looks illogic from one hand to confront Russia and from another to give encouragement. NATO needs to face the threats instead of escaping from reality. Member states should boost military spending and elaborate workable plans rather than to focus on “Smart Defense” arguing that with limited sources it is possible to increase operationability.

 

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