Why Biden should not support Georgia’s ascension to NATO, responsiblestatecraft.org

Adam Pontius, graduate research assistant at the Eurasia Group Foundation

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s suggestion during his confirmation hearing that he would consider supporting Georgia’s membership in NATO has largely gone overlooked. Georgian media has since reported that Blinken also raised the Georgia issue in his first call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. But if the Biden administration continues to push the issue of Georgia’s potential NATO membership, it would endanger the already precarious stability of the South Caucasus and increase the likelihood of misunderstanding between Moscow and Washington.

Georgian ascension to NATO would also further damage the U.S.’s already strained relationship with Europe — where public opinion shows little support for the ongoing rivalry with Russia — thereby potentially jeopardizing European cooperation on issues ranging from the rise of China to climate change.

Russia won’t interpret any consideration of Georgia’s membership charitably. Russia has already lost influence in the South Caucasus, a region Moscow viewed as its sphere of influence just a decade ago. […]

European leaders likely won’t support Georgia’s membership in NATO. German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who has said that she does not foresee “Georgia’s prompt accession to NATO” — is approaching the end of her long tenure in office, and nothing suggests her potential successors will be more willing to expand NATO eastward. Moreover, recent polling from the European Council on Foreign Relations suggests most Germans don’t want to take sides between Washington and Mosco. Läs artikel