The Georgian Times
Recently declassified Soviet files have revealed that in 1952 Joseph Stalin offered the US a deal: he would reunite Germany by abandoning East Germany provided this united Germany refused to join NATO. Washington rejected this overture, although it has always been held that the US did everything it could to reunite Germany until the Berlin Wall fell in 1989.
The released documents came as a surprise to many experts. After the death of Joseph Stalin, Lavrenti Beria called on the Western countries to reunite Germany as a neutral state. James Warburg believes that such a possibility existed but they still opted to include West Germany in NATO, and its acceded to membership in 1955.
The case of Germany has important implications for ‘divided’ Georgia. Choosing to join NATO will put off the resolution of Georgia’s territorial disputes for decades. It is very unlikely that the US is more concerned about Georgia’s territorial integrity that it was about Germany’s. There are no signs of that. Moreover, as in the case of Germany Georgia’s territorial integrity is considered less important than its NATO membership.
In 1955 the Socialist countries (led of course by the USSR) set up the Warsaw Pact. NATO always rejected the proposals to sign non-agression pacts with it or dissolve both alliances. We talk about NATO a lot in Georgia but the discussion has rarely come down to specifics. Almost no one talks about what exactly Georgia can expect from NATO membership. What advantages does it give us? Or should we join NATO just for Russia’s ‘sake’, to take revenge on it? Joining NATO does not only affect to the territorial integrity of Georgia, which is certainly of vital importance, but all aspects of the Georgian state.