Georgia – Important Link for Future European Security

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

Georgia is an indispensable component of the European security architecture, thanks to its strategically significant location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, as well as its vital energy links. Georgia’s security is inextricably linked to that of Europe, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the importance of including it in regional and international efforts to ensure stability.

First and foremost, because of its geographical location, Georgia has become an essential component of European security. It is bounded to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, to the southeast by Azerbaijan, and to the west by the Black Sea, making it both a bridge between Europe and Asia and a buffer between Russia and the West. As a result, its strategic importance in military conflict prevention cannot be overstated. It is worth noting that Russian aggression in Georgia preceded Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Following Russia’s aggression in Georgia, the Kremlin did not punish This drove him to launch aggressive military campaigns elsewhere and even change Europe’s borders after annexing Crimea. Georgia was not a weak link, but it was a symbol of Russia’s fear of the West because Georgia was becoming the modus operandi for many post-Soviet countries and their aspirations.

It is already clear that Russia failed to achieve its objectives in Ukraine. This is an important opportunity for the West to broaden its security umbrella and prevent Russia and other autocratic regimes from using energy blackmail against the West. Georgia plays a crucial role in this process. The country is an important link in the transportation of energy resources, such as gas and oil, from the Caspian Sea to Europe. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and South Caucasus pipelines, which transport oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea region to Europe, both pass through Georgia. This gives Georgia significant leverage over Europe’s energy security, as disruptions to these routes could have serious consequences for the continent’s energy supply. The importance and weight of Georgia have grown even more since the agreement on energy cooperation between Romania, Hungary, Georgia, and Azerbaijan was signed under the supervision of the European Union last year. A 1,200-kilometer cable will be built as part of the project to provide additional electrical energy to Romania and Hungary via Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Black Sea. The project is expected to be completed in six years. At this point, 1 GW of energy is considered, but Azerbaijan declares that it will be able to export up to 30 GW of energy by 2027.

Although Viktor Orbán has the softest attitude towards Russia, he said that “receiving cheap resources from Russia must end.” This is a significant statement because, from a geopolitical standpoint, Georgia has a unique opportunity to increase its security and position itself as one of the European Union’s energy arteries. Furthermore, after fulfilling the project, Hungary’s ambiguous position on NATO and EU expansion is unlikely to apply to Georgia.

Georgia has been a focal point of European investment and reform as a member of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative, which was established to strengthen economic and political cooperation between the EU and a number of Eastern European countries. The EU has provided much-needed financial assistance to Georgia through the EaP, allowing the country to focus on structural and institutional reforms aimed at improving its political and economic environment. These reforms are critical for increased security and stability because the stronger and more prosperous the Georgian state is, the better equipped it is to deal with internal and external threats.

Another important factor is the country’s democratic governance and economic growth. Over the last two decades, Georgia has undergone significant political and economic reforms, resulting in a more stable and prosperous country. The government has pledged to reduce corruption, strengthen the rule of law, and promote economic growth. The EU, US, and other Western nations have assisted in this process, and as a result, Georgia has become a model of successful post-Soviet transition to democracy and a market economy to which other neighbouring countries can look. Despite the fact that Georgia’s current government has visible challenges with its Western partners, the Georgian people continue to strongly support the country’s pro-Western course.

The security of the country necessitates close collaboration among European, Georgian, and global partners. This partnership should focus on strengthening Georgia’s institutions and defense infrastructure, as well as providing technical and financial assistance to the country to facilitate its integration into the Euro-Atlantic space. If Georgia is admitted to the EU and NATO, it will greatly benefit because these organizations will provide the necessary support and resources to further improve the country’s security posture.

Georgia is clearly not just an important component of European security, but a necessary one. It not only ensures energy security and acts as a buffer against threats, but it also serves as a window into the region and an important partner in European and global security. This collaboration benefits not only Europe but also the country of Georgia. There is no doubt that with increased assistance and collaboration, the country can thrive and make long-term contributions to the European security architecture.

Giorgi Koberidze

Senior Fellow

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