Janusz Bugajski, a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, D.C. and host of Bugajski Hour and Bugajski Time published an article under the title – “Why the Senate must act on the Republic of Georgia” in the Washington Times.
My latest piece in The Washington Times
on the importance of Georgia for US securityhttps://t.co/JdztTDq75H
— Janusz Bugajski (@JBugajskiUSA) November 10, 2020
Bugajski said “the democratic elections on Oct. 31 won by the governing Georgia Dream party will enable the Republic of Georgia to bolster its constructive role in the strategically crucial Black Sea region. Regardless of who wins the U.S. presidential race, it is in America’s national interest to deepen cooperation with a forthcoming government committed to expanding relations with Western institutions. The U.S. Senate can now take an important step in this process by approving the Georgia Support Act.”
He noted that “Georgia’s elections demonstrate what can be accomplished in Europe’s east regardless of prior phases of instability. During the early part of its post-Soviet history, Georgia faced violence between rival political factions and separatist conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia fueled by Moscow. But during the last three election cycles, the country has benefitted from growing stability and public consensus in a highly volatile region.”
The author of the article also pointed out that “monitors from the European Union and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) concluded that the elections were competitive and fundamental freedoms were respected despite some flaws. This assessment was confirmed by the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi. The ruling party, Georgia Dream, won 48% of the national vote and can gain broader parliamentary support to tackle the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Bugajski said that “Russia is engaged in an extensive military build-up in order to control major sea lanes, maritime economic zones and energy deposits, and Georgia is a major target. In 2008, Russian forces invaded and occupied 20% of Georgian territory. Moscow also attempts to undermine Georgia’s democracy and disqualify the country from Western integration by engaging in media and cyber warfare. It threatens to further divide and isolate the country by restricting its maritime access and creating a corridor across Georgia to its military bases in Armenia. Such moves would also sever Europe’s energy connections with the Caspian basin. The escalating war between Azerbaijan and Armenia may enable Moscow to pursue these objectives by injecting more Russian forces in the region.”
“The new Georgian government is poised to advance policies that bring the country closer to the U.S., EU and NATO. One of its pillars is regional economic development that can help generate security, attract Western investment and deepen integration in European institutions. In his recent speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia underscored that Tbilisi will remain focused on positioning the country as a regional hub for business, energy, logistics, tourism, education and medicine. Georgia’s example demonstrates that despite the pervasiveness of nationalism, populism, isolationism, and foreign pressure throughout Europe, democratic systems are better equipped to resist subversion and contribute to Western security,” Bugajski said in his article.