Lincoln Mitchell on Lavrov, Macmaster and Georgia’s Future
03 March, 2017
Lincoln Mitchell on Lavrov, Macmaster and Georgia’s Future
Perhaps the most memorable thing that happened at the Munich International Defense Conference, that is, aside from the thinly veiled ultimatum delivered by Defense Secretary Matis to NATO allies on the latter’s need to increase their financial contributions to the Alliance, was Sergey Lavrov’s sweeping speech. Russia’s controversial foreign minister had a go at a wide variety of subjects, ranging from criticism towards OSCE to what he believes the Post-Cold War world order should be like, including the relations with Georgia. Lavrov lost no time in declaring Georgia as a transit corridor for terrorism, earmarking the police cooperation from the Georgian side in this regard as one of the prerequisites for a possible visa-free regime with Georgia. However, Lavrov’s speech was not the only bit of international politics that was discussed in Georgia during the last week. The appointment of General Mackmaster as a national security advisor of President Trump also piqued the interest of Georgia. Unlike Flynn and his sympathetic (at least) stance towards Russia, Mackmaster seems to be a proper Hawk: just what Georgians would like him to be.

“H.R. McMaster is a very different kind of choice than Michael Flynn,” said political analyst Lincoln Mitchell in an interview with GEORGIA TODAY and Panorama TV show. “McMaster is very much from the mainstream on conservative foreign policy thinking. He is hawkish on most issues, but neither fanatical, given to conspiracy theories or prone to seeing the world in racist terms the way Flynn was. For Georgia, this is a very good sign, as both McMaster and Defense Secretary Mattis are wary of Russia and inclined to support American allies in the region who are threatened by Russia, such as Georgia. The major questions that will be answered in the next weeks and months is whether the Mcmaster/Mattis faction will have more power than the pro-Russia Bannonites in the administration; and how Putin will react if they do.

“If the McMasters/Mattis faction wins out, I would expect to see sanctions on Russia remain in place and the US continue to at least rhetorically support Georgia’s getting into NATO. If the Bannonites win, I would expect McMasters to have a short and unhappy tenure at the NSC and to see the US become less involved in the region,” said the analyst, who also commented on Lavrov’s Munich Security remarks, stressing it was “hypocritical” of Russia to talk of solving conflict with the West.

you don’t want a conflict with the West, don’t create it,” Mitchell said, adding that Lavrov’s remarks on post-Cold-War order and trilateral dialogue with the US and the West carried the air of self-aggrandizing. “We should be careful with these terms. Maybe many people in Georgia won’t be pleased to hear this, but I think when we’re talking about Cold War analogies, about the new Cold War, we might be overstating Russia’s strength quite a bit. In a global sense, Russia is not the power that the Soviet Union was. This is not the bipolar world. If there are two [super]powers in the world, its China and the US, not Russia.”
The San-Francisco based analyst also offered his views on how the White House and Kremlin should approach the problems of Ukraine and Georgia, saying that behind the scenes deals would only result in more harm.

“Washington and Moscow should not be sitting down at the table making deals on the fate of Georgia and Ukraine without the leadership [of these countries],” Mitchell said. “And I think you’ll have to view these two separately. There is a sense in Washington, when you talk to people privately, that Crimea is lost, its gone and [they think] that perhaps the smarter thing for Ukraine would be to behave like it already lost Crimea. Regarding Georgia, it’s a little different. What would the deal be regarding Georgia and Russia? What more does Russia want in Georgia? Russia’s real goal in Georgia is not to let it become a NATO member, but frankly, they’re doing that anyway. Does Russia really want to set tanks on Rustaveli Avenue? I know it’s an unpopular thing to say [to Georgians], but I don’t really think Russia wants that - I don’t think it’s worth it.”

By Vazha Tavberidze

Source: Georgia Today
Other Stories
Trump’s letter to Margvelashvili: “Georgian independence and democracy remain an aspiration to the world”
US President Donald Trump congratulates Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on the 25th anniversary of the Georgia-US diplomatic relations.
Nauru loses US financial support for recognizing Georgia’s breakaway regions’ independence
Nauru is no longer eligible for any US government financial support because it recognises two Georgian break-away regions as independent countries,
 Moscow Ex-Mayor’s Visit to Georgia Causes Controversy
Moscow’s former mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s visit in Georgia has caused an outcry among the Georgian population and politicians.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili meets Donald Trump at the White House
Yesterday, on May 8th, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with US President Donald Trump.
Donald Trump signs legislative act recognizing Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as Georgia’s regions occupied by Russia
US President Donald Trump has signed a legislative act, which recognizes Georgia’s breakaway territories - Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region - as regions occupied by Russia;
Sannikov on Belarus, Russia and Georgia
On March 25, there were many angry faces in Minsk. Why? Because a certain “last dictator of Europe,”
O’Hanlon Dishes out Bitter Pills for Georgia: The US Cannot Protect the Whole World
When Wall Street Journal writes something about Georgia, Georgian people (those who know what WSJ is) read it.
Romanian Ambassador on Navy, NATO and Russian Relations
Georgia is offering NATO the chance to deploy its navy in Poti port. If realized, this will dramatically change the power balance in the Black Sea basin
Innovative Reforms to Increase Education Quality in Georgia
From Aleksandre Jejelava’s Article published in The Economist’s World 2017 Georgian edition
Georgia-EU visa-free travel takes effect
Visa-free travel for Georgian citizens with the EU has already taken effect.
"What else should be done by Georgia to get NATO membership?"
Last week, the Foreign Minister of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, visited Georgia to bolster the bilateral relations between the two countries
Tbilisi-Based Dutch Professor on Dutch Elections, Erdogan, Putin and Saakashvili
On March 15, parliamentary elections were held in The Netherlands. Despite most polls predicting a victory for “Dutch Trump” Geert Wilders,
First photo of Justice Minister's newborn child
The Justice Minister of Georgia gave birth to a baby girl on March 18 and her first photo has already been published on the official page of Gagua Clinic.
Georgia’s Justice Minister off for a maternity leave
Georgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani is on a maternity leave and for the next two months, her duties will be carried out by her First Deputy, Alexander Baramidze.
James Appathurai comments on the so-called elections in Abkhazia, Georgia
The Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai commented on the so-called elections taken place in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia
David Kramer: Georgia Has a Strong Ally in the Pentagon
Last week, Tbilisi hosted some of the most high-ranking opinion-makers and experts in the Western world.
Austrian Ambassador on that Refugee Camp Idea
It didn’t really become a point of discussion in European media.
OSCE Concerned over Closure of Crossing Points with Breakaway Abkhazia
The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairmanship issued a statement over the closure of two crossing points along the administrative
Georgia’s citizens to enjoy visa-free travel with the EU from March 28 - EU Official Journal
The decision on providing Georgia with visa-free travel in the EU has been published in the European Union’s Official Journal.
"Nobody is above the law in Israel" - Israeli Amb. Speaks out about Visa-free regime controversy
The visa-free regime between Israel and Georgia was, and is, rightfully considered a huge step toward closer ties between two nations
James Appathurai congratulates Georgia on signing visa-free-travel document
NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General James Appathurai has officially congratulated Georgia on the document, granting Georgian citizens the right of visa-free travel
 Let us walk together on the European path - MEP Mariya Gabriel
Today's signing ceremony is a historic day for all of us – both for the European and Georgian citizens, - MEP Mariya Gabriel told journalists.
  Statement by the NATO Spokesperson on developments along administrative boundary lines in Georgia
"I am concerned by the announced closure of two crossing points along the administrative boundary line of the Abkhazia region of Georgia
European Council adopts regulation on visa liberalisation for Georgians
On 27 February 2017, the Council adopted a regulation on visa liberalisation for Georgians travelling to the EU for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period,
41 avowed millionaires in Georgia’s parliament
Monitoring of Georgian officials’ public assets declarations will begin shortly,
Other Stories
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
The Georgian President and his wife are on a state visit to Israel. Giorgi Magvelashvili and the First Lady, together
Koba Subeliani, a member of the National Movement party and the parliamentary minority
According to Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, the Georgian side will take part in the UN peacekeeping mission.
Asked about whether Georgia and Russia are moving towards a repeat of the war in 2008
The U.S. Department of State has released a video in which the new U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly addresses Georgians
GEL Exchange
September 2017
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30