Senator Jeanne Shaheen: Russia’s first play to subvert democracy in Eastern Europe started with Georgia
“Russia’s first play to subvert democracy in Eastern Europe started with the Republic of Georgia,” US Senator Jeanne Shaheen wrote in her article published by USA Today ahead of the meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Russia’s first play to subvert democracy in Eastern Europe started with the Republic of Georgia, where I also visited. I saw the “administrative boundary line” demarcating part of the 20% of Georgia occupied by Russia and its local proxies. Here, Russian forces try to intimidate Georgians by occasionally moving the fence marking the line and hindering movement of Georgian citizens across the line, preventing access to essential services. The Russians also hinder the activities of the European Union’s monitoring mission, and engage in disinformation campaigns designed to disrupt Georgia’s democracy in ways Americans know all too well from our elections,” US Senator wrote.
Jeanne Shaheen also focuses on Russia’s increased activity in the Black Sea and does not rule out that Moscow will take steps against Ukraine again this fall.
“We need to seriously consider NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, or at least provide a clear path for entry. Both want to join, which would be devastating for Putin’s plans. Since its inception, NATO has been open to countries who make the sovereign decision to join, and approved unanimously, and it should not be any different now. Reforms are required to ensure the alliance would be gaining strong allies, but failure to act would deliver a victory for Putin.
We need to enhance our military and diplomatic presence in the region. We need a qualified ambassador in Kyiv as soon as possible. Promoting business and investment ties with Ukraine and Georgia would benefit both our countries, as well”, US Senator notes in her article.