Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March and the continuing crisis in Ukraine have triggered the most heated confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War. The standoff over Ukraine has raised critical questions about Russia’s ambitions in the post-Soviet space and the future political perspectives of the countries caught between Russia and the European Union. Despite political and economic pressure and ongoing occupation by Russia, Georgia is pursuing democratic transformation and a path toward the West.
On May 5, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) at Brookings hosted Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania for an address on Georgia’s vision for Euro-Atlantic integration during a period of increased insecurity in the region. In his remarks, Minister Alasania shared his insights on the upcoming NATO summit and Georgia’s approach to enhancing its relations with the West while attempting to normalize relations with Russia to lower tensions still simmering from the war six years ago.
Irakli Alasania previously served as Georgia’s permanent representative to the United Nations from 2006 to 2009 and before that as special representative of the president in Georgian-Abkhazian negotiations. He is the founder and chairman of the Our Georgia-Free Democrats Party and one of the founders of Georgian Dream Coalition.
CUSE Director Fiona Hill provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.