Would Georgia’s NATO membership have made any difference?

August 12, 2007 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

TrojanovThe new Russia has a curse.  Almost every year something terrible happens in August.  Kursk tragedy, schoolchildren killed in Caucasus.  Coincidence or not but almost two years ago, August 15, Lithuania experienced an incident involving the Russian SU-27 crashing in Lithuania.  This year Georgia. 

The Baltic nations were the new NATO members already.  However, the NATO air patrol stationed in Lithuania did not had a chance to react to the violation of the NATO air space by the Russian air force.

The reaction from the Brussels to the incident was also very ‘polite’.  Even though the oil prices were quite moderated then, and Russia was only staring to reassert itself in the world politics the new NATO member was left on its own to deal with the Russians.  The Russian army pilot Trojanov has landed safely and was kept under detention in Vilnius for some time.  Kremlin launched an information war against Lithuania on similar lines as it does today.  However, after some consultations with our allies in NATO then Defence minister Kirkilas (PM today) even brought some flowers to the pilot’s wife to cheer her up and show the Lithuanian hospitality. 

The pilot was sent home, the NATO allies kept quiet.  Edward Lucas written that if Georgia was a member of NATO already the incident would not have happened.  I am not sure if something different would have happened in Georgia was a member of NATO, especially now, when Russian oil is so important.  Of course reaction would be different if this would have happened somewhere in Alaska or in Scotland.

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Georgia, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics, Russia.

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