Policy Memos

From Blind Love to Strategic Alliance? Baltic-Georgian Relations Revisited

Policy Memo:

201

Publication Date:

06-2012

Author(s):

Description:

Since the restoration of independence, Georgia and the Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—have established dynamic relationships that have evolved into forms of strategic cooperation. Over the last two decades, many have seen Georgia and the Baltics, along with Moldova and (somewhat) Ukraine, as a potential “belt of freedom and democracy” alongside Russia. As Georgia entered the post-Soviet era without natural allies or a history of reliable alliances, the Baltic states have proven to be loyal partners, as well as to all the Caucasian states when they needed support in their various tussles with Russia. Increasingly, geopolitical developments taking place around the Black and Baltic Seas have provided a new impetus for closer Baltic-Georgian relations. Although Russia has reconciled itself with the independence of the Baltic states, Moscow seems to have a difficult time swallowing the idea of independent Georgia. As Georgia tries to balance Moscow’s influence in its internal affairs and strives for Euro-Atlantic integration, cementing a close partnership with Eastern European states becomes essential. Similarly, Moscow’s policies vis-à-vis its smaller neighbors reinvigorated the Baltic states’ traditional security concerns and catalyzed their interest toward further involvement in the Caucasus. A number of factors lie behind this change, including Georgia's rapid transformation, growing energy security concerns, and the mounting strategic importance of the Caucasus in light of the potentially looming Iran crisis. [...]

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About the author

Director; Professor
Georgian Institute of Politics; I. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University