Let Georgia Join NATO

Tbilisi's Case

Georgian soldiers attend a farewell ceremony before leaving for Afghanistan in Tbilisi, June 27, 2013. /David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters

In late March, for the sixth consecutive year, Georgia’s national rugby team won the European Nations Cup. The string of wins has re-opened a debate on allowing the tiny Caucasus country, which seems to have outgrown its own tournament, into the Six Nations Championship, Europe’s elite rugby cup, which includes England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. Yet money, not the quality of game, seems to be what Georgia lacks for the competition. Hinting at Tbilisi’s similarly unsuccessful bids to join NATO and the European Union, Georgians like to joke that the Six Nations Championship has been added to the no-go list of yet one more Western institution.

Tbilisi officially declared its intention to join NATO at the Prague Summit in 2002 and since then, it has been steadily advancing its standing with the alliance. In a gesture to recognize Georgia’s progress, NATO leaders agreed at the 2008

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