Source: Georgia Today
On the eve of elections, foreign and defense policy topics have already become dominant and decisive issues for achieving the concrete political objective of getting seats in parliament.
And it’s a battle of two armies – between the sympathizers of the “Good Ole Soviet Union” and the proponents of the shiny new (not exactly near) future with NATO and Europe in general. This trend has been reinforced with the dynamics of “New Cold War” provisions being fought between the West (EU and NATO) and Russia.
So it didn’t come as a great surprise that when Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili and his Republican party voiced their view on the possible deployment of American military bases on Georgian terrain, in fact, it had very sound resonance.
The statement was obviously oriented for local consumption and could be treated as new PR schtick for attracting more of the Georgian electorate, namely those who support pro-Western foreign policy.
It also turned out to be a neat Falcon Punch for the Free Democrats, as this kind of thing has been exclusively their agenda domain in recent years. It was definitely more than just a sample message to probe public opinion and play the US vs Russia card.
Recently, the “red line” of confrontation between the two has rested on two important geostrategic regions – the Baltics and the Caucasus. The importance of these regions is further underlined by both the USA and Russia, as they were implicitly mentioned in the National Security strategies of both super-powers.
For example, the latest National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, adopted on December 31, 2015 by the President of Russia, mentions the geostrategic importance not only of the Caucasus region but specifically Georgia.
In Paragraph 89 of the Strategy Chapter named ‘Strategic Stability and Equal Strategic Partnership,’ the Kremlin incumbent authority declares the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as the most vital zones of strategic influence, while in Paragraph 106 it perceives as a military threat any kind of activity or rapprochement of any type of military infrastructure of NATO toward Russia’s state borders, including those in Georgia.
The document has made it blatantly obvious that the Russian government considers the Caucasus region and Georgia in particular as a strategic chokepoint from national security perspectives.