Open Letter of the Representatives of Civil Society of Georgia on NATO's Upcoming Summit in Madrid

To: NATO Secretary General

Heads and Foreign Ministers of NATO Member States

CC: NATO Liaison Office in Georgia
164 Tsinamdzgvrishvili Str.
0112 Tbilisi, Georgia

Dear Mr. Jens Stoltenberg,

Dear Leaders of NATO Member States,

First, let us express our deep respect and emphasize the importance of years-long relations between Georgia and NATO.

With this letter, we, nongovernmental organizations of Georgia, representatives of analytical and research centers, experts, former diplomats, scholars, and other members of society, confirm once again that the NATO membership is a national interest of our country, the key political objective of our foreign policy and the only guarantee of the country’s security, which is supported by the will of Georgia’s population and enshrined in Article 78 of the Constitution of Georgia. According to this article, the constitutional bodies shall take all measures within the scope of their competencies to ensure the full integration of Georgia into North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The aim of Georgia’s integration into the North Atlantic Alliance is to enhance the security of the country and the region, strengthen Georgia’s sovereignty, promote stability, development, and peace, and ensure the welfare and safe future for the people of Georgia.

Georgia started its cooperation with NATO in 1992. Despite challenges throughout 30 years since regaining independence, we, with the assistance of member states of the Alliance, succeeded in transforming the defense forces of Georgia and implemented a whole number of initiatives in terms of interoperability with NATO. 20 years ago, in 2002 at the NATO Summit in Prague, Georgia officially declared its Euro-Atlantic aspiration. The Declaration adopted at the Bucharest Summit in 2008 heralded a qualitatively new stage for Georgia on its Euro-Atlantic path, as the country received a political promise from all NATO member states that Georgia will become a member of the Alliance. As a result of the dynamic development of our relations, we, today, have very practical and result-oriented formats that include the NATOGeorgia Commission (NGC), Annual National Program (ANP), and the refreshed Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP). These instruments have created possibilities for the country to undertake preparations for membership in the Alliance.

Owing to reforms implemented within the scope of mechanisms of the country’s NATO integration in years and various types of assistance from NATO member states, Georgia has transformed from a security consumer country into a country contributing to Euro-Atlantic security. By participating in peace and humanitarian missions, the Georgian defense forces made a significant contribution to not only the Euro-Atlantic security but also to the process of ensuring global security. Georgia was one of the largest non-NATO troop contributors to the Peace Mission in Afghanistan. Also, Georgia’s interoperability with NATO has been acknowledged in a number of official international assessments and reports.

The 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia in gross violation of all international norms and the occupation of 20% of the country’s territory, the annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the ongoing, full-scale military aggression waged by the Kremlin against Ukraine have shown yet again that Russia pursues the aim to dismantle the rules-based international security system, to undermine the efficiency of international institutions and to regain its influence over postSoviet space. In this regard, Russia uses all illegal methods and ignores fundamental norms.

Against the backdrop of ongoing aggression in Ukraine, it is obvious that Georgia which aspires for membership in the Alliance may become the next target of Russia.

Today, as never before, the international community needs, on the one hand, to take prompt and effective steps to stop the war in Ukraine and on the other hand, to take firm decisions regarding the instruments deterring Russia to ensure that the Kremlin will not be able in future to undertake aggressive actions against sovereign states, including Georgia.

The existing situation has made the issue of enhancing the security of the Black Sea region even more urgent. In this context, Georgia, as the Black Sea littoral state, can make a significant contribution in terms of security as well as economy.

We believe that in the light of changing geopolitical reality, the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid should become a format of major political decisions. This is critically necessary for the containment of Russia’s aggression and protection of the Euro-Atlantic as well as global security.

We believe that decisions should be taken regarding new security guarantees to Georgia, strengthening its defense capability and fulfilling the political promise made at the 2008 Bucharest Summit. As a result of the analysis of the existing situation, we think that Georgia’s NATO membership is a real security guarantee that has no alternative, especially, consideringth at Georgia possesses all practical instruments of NATO membership and can contribute to the enhancement of the security of the Black Sea region. Without the stability of the Black Sea region, hardly can the security of the entire Europe be ensured and defended in the future.

Thank you for your attention to these important matters.

Yours sincerely,

Victor Kipiani
Chairman of the Georgian Think Tank Geocase

Prof. Dr. Khatuna Burkadze
Director of American and Euro-Atlantic Studies at Geocase

Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze (retired)
Former Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, Former Military Representative of Georgia to NATO and EU, Adviser of Geocase

Giorgi Antadze
Acting Director of the Georgian Parliamentary Research Center, Director of Defence and Security Policy at Geocase

Kakha Shengelia
President of the Caucasus University

Prof. Dr. George Abashishvili
Dean of the Faculty of Business, Caucasus International University

Zviad Kirtava, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, MD Program Coordinator, School of Medicine and Healthcare Management, Caucasus University

Tornike Sharashenidze
Professor, Head of School of International Relations, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs

Tengiz Pkhaladze
Associate Professor, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, Former Advisor - Foreign Relations Secretary to the President of Georgia

Vladimer Svanadze
Chairman of the Board of Internet Development Initiative (IDI)

Andro Gotsiridze
Founder of Cyber Security Studies & Education Center

Nato Bachiashvili
Chairperson of the International Centre for Geopolitical Studies

Prof. Dr. Vakhtang Charaia
Director of the Center for Analysis and Forecasting, Tbilisi State University

Amb. Paata Gaprindashvili
Director, Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS)

Nodar Kharshiladze
Founding Director, Georgian Strategic Analysis Center, Former Deputy Minister of Defense of Georgia