Nikoloz Khatiashvili, a research fellow on foreign policy at the think tank Geocase assesses the GLOBSEC Global Security Forum in Bratislava.
The GLOBSEC Forum is one of the most influential forums in Europe, where leaders, politicians, researchers and international experts from different countries gather to discuss the most important security issues, global challenges and ways to address them. The main topic of this year's forum was Russia's war and aggression against Ukraine, as well as the future of European security. It is important that before the events as crucial for Georgia as the NATO Madrid Summit and the decision regarding granting Georgia the status of EU candidate, Georgia was represented at the forum by the members of the government and the non-governmental sector as the forum provides an opportunity to hold meetings and communicate directly with people who play an important role in shaping the international political agenda and making important decisions.”- noted Nikoloz Khatiashvili.
According to Khatiashvili, as a forum participant, he had the opportunity to hear messages from the first persons regarding the future of European security and the ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine. “It is clear that Russia's attack on Ukraine has turned the entire international system upside down and revealed a number of pressing issues that require immediate solutions. Europe is united as never before when it comes to Ukraine, and I hope that with joint efforts it will be possible to stop Russia, end the war in Ukraine and restore its territorial integrity. The new geopolitical reality requires firm steps from Europe and new approaches that will restrain the aggressor Russia from repeating the crimes committed in Ukraine in the future. The European leaders are well aware of what is happening in Ukraine today is a result of Russia's aggressive and imperialistic politics that commenced in Georgia in the 1990s and continued in 2008, which eventually ended with the occupation of 20% of Georgia's territory."- stated Nikoloz Khatiashvili.
To Nikoloz Khatiashvili, the ongoing war in Ukraine has shown that it will be impossible to establish a new security order in Europe and the Black Sea region without Georgia.
One of the domains in which Georgia can play an important role is the geopolitical potential with which it can develop new transit corridors for energy resources and goods to the EU countries by detouring the aggressor Russia, and this is Europe’s long-term strategic goal. It was during the forum that I heard these messages from the European leaders. It is important that the EU makes a logical and pragmatic decision and grants Georgia the status of an EU candidate. The messages voiced during the forum and the attitudes of the participants give grounds for optimism that Georgia will receive the status of an EU candidate, which will be an important message for the aggressor Russia that Europe and the entire civilized world stand by Georgia. Georgia's EU and NATO membership has no alternative in terms of guaranteeing Georgia's security and sustainable development," emphasized Nikoloz Khatiashvili.