Georgia considers joining NATO through an expedited procedure

The Parliament of Georgia is seriously studying the possibility of the country’s accelerated entry into NATO after almost ten years of waiting. In 2008, the Alliance leadership stated that its doors are open to both Georgia and Ukraine, but did not provide the Membership Action Plan for accession, Voice of America reports.

The possibility of accelerated accession to the Alliance came about thanks to the American Heritage Foundation, which suggested joining NATO through section 5 of the collective defense treaty, which temporarily should not be subject to the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, currently occupied by Russia (according to Article 5, an attack on one of the countries-participants of the treaty is considered an attack on all members of the Alliance, perhaps because of this Moscow strongly opposes Georgia's accession to NATO).

"In accordance to our national priorities and by consultations with our strategic partners, we will make every effort to accelerate our integration," Georgian Parliament Chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze said. He cited a proposal by the American Heritage Foundation to consider an option to join the Alliance, in which the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia would temporarily not fall under Article 5 of the Collective Defense Treaty.

"Many are worried that Georgia's NATO membership will mean automatic war with Russia over the occupied regions," according to American analyst Luke Coffey, who also proposed the accelerated version of joining the Alliance. Georgia can be invited to NATO by amending section 6 of the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949."

Article 6 identifies specific territories within a given country that fall under the security guarantee of section 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

According to Coffey, "this amendment can be made with Georgia's accession protocol as it was in 1951 when Turkey and Greece joined the alliance” but it should be stated that “Georgia's full, internationally recognized territory is re-established by peaceful and diplomatic means”.

  Georgia, NATO, Kobakhidze