NATO former SG Rasmussen: it was a mistake to postpone MAP granting to Georgia in April 2008
NATO former Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in his letter dedicated to the 70th anniversary of NATO said that not granting MAP to Georgia in 2008 was a mistake.
“In April 2008, NATO allies met in Bucharest to discuss offering a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine. At the insistence of Germany and France, we decided to postpone that decision until the end of the year. In my view, that was a mistake. Just months after our summit, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the invasion of Georgia”, reported Project Syndicate on April 4, 2019.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen gives several recommendations to NATO for further development. Former Secretary General mentions in his letter that “it is time for NATO to establish clear milestones for further integration. It could start by offering Ukraine an Enhanced Opportunities Partnership, such as what Sweden, Finland, and even Georgia already have. This would formalize Ukraine’s relationship with the alliance, and provide a stepping stone to a MAP and full accession”.
On the other hand, he suggests NATO members to increase the pressure (sanctions) on Russia to end the conflict in the Donbas region.
Rasmussen also believes that Georgian and Ukrainian integration was never going to be an easy decision to make. “But it is a decision that should lie with current and aspiring member states, not with Russia. The longer we allow Putin’s interference to bear fruit, the more he will seek to undermine the sovereignty of democratic states”.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen was a former NATO secretary general (2009-2014) and former Prime Minister of Denmark. He is a foreign policy adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Chairman of Rasmussen Global. During his period Georgia got (2014) the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP), the aim of which is to strengthen Georgia’s defence capabilities and develop closer security cooperation and interoperability with NATO Members.