WASHINGTON — Unlike Ukraine, which has withdrawn from a possible economic trade pact with the European Union, Georgia will step out of Russia’s long shadow.
Reuters reported that Georgia, which had fought a losing war against a Russian invasion of its territory five years ago, is preparing on strengthening its ties with Europe.
Russia invaded Georgia to protect its Russian-speaking minority in South Ossetia, which borders Russia, back in 2008. The Georgian military could not stand up to the Russians, who were content in seizing the territory where Russian-speaking people lived.
The new Georgian Prime Minister, Irakly Garibashvili, said that it will honor its agreement with the EU and help supply the Europeans with Caspian gas and oil. Garibashvili told reporters, “Ukraine’s decision is very unfortunate, but Ukraine and Georgia are different stories as we are much less dependent on Russia than Ukraine is…Russia may use political and economic leverage to put pressure on Georgia, but I believe that it cannot be serious.”
Most former Soviet republics like Ukraine and Georgia try to balance Russia and the West, but as Ukraine found out, that is hard to come by.