NAVO’s militaire oefening in Georgie stelt de toch al fragiele verhouding tussen het Westen en Rusland verder – en onnodig – op de proef. Daarnaast is de interne politieke situatie in Georgie zo instabiel – zoals o.a. blijkt uit de recente muiterij in het leger -, dat het niet verstandig is om deze oefening daar nu te houden.
For Nato to be staging manoeuvres, albeit modest ones, in Georgia sends several messages at once. It tells the Georgian leadership that its desire to join the North Atlantic alliance has not been forgotten, even if its application for the time being has been put on ice.
It warns Russia against even thinking of extending its military power even further into Georgia than it already has, and it says that the southern Caucasus a potentially important new energy supply route remains an area of Western interest. Those are not unreasonable messages to want to send.
Whether such exercises are the best use of Nato resources, or even wise, however, is another matter…
That all these explanations have elements of plausibility only illustrates how unpredictable a neighbourhood Georgia and its borderlands remain. Both Nato and Russia would be well advised not to fish further in such troubled waters.