Estonia to back early NATO entry for Georgia?

A Government bill calling for it will be debated at a special session of the parliament today.

Jonathan Kulik provides a press release (full text at the jump) about a draft bill to be discussed today in the Estonian parliament. No indication whose bill it is, but apparently a special session of the body has been called to consider it, and the Estonian Embassy in DC put out the press release, so it looks like a Government bill. It’s pretty full-throated in its denunciation of Russia.

David Cameron, the Tory leader in the UK, is also behind the idea, though the Lib Dem leader, who actually knows something about foreign policy, is against it.

Maybe if the proponents of a “diplomatic solution” would tell us what diplomatic leverage they think anyone has over Russia, and what sort of outcome diplomacy might achieve, we could weigh that option against more extreme ideas such as early NATO accession for Georgia and/or Ukraine. Somehow I doubt that a threat to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics will rock Putin back on his heels.

In other news, Medvedev announced that Russian military operations in Georgia have ended (no word about a “mission accomplished banner” but as of last night Russia was bombing Gori (the town, not nearby military bases). They managed to kill a Dutch journalist working in out of the local TV/radio station, and apparently both the post office and the university are on fire. The town is virtually deserted, the population having fled Sunday and Monday. In case you’re keeping score, Gori is in Georgia proper, not in South Ossetia.

Baltic News Service

August 11, 2008 Monday 11:57 PM EET


The Estonian parliament at an extraordinary session on Tuesday will discuss a statement according to which the parliament supports Georgia’s early accession to NATO.

According to the draft of the statement the Estonian parliament condemns the Russian military aggression against Georgia and expresses deep concern about its consequences. The draft says that the parliament welcomes and supports the demand of the international public and democratic countries to immediately cease hostilities and ensure Georgia’s full territorial integrity.

The parliament underlines in its statement that restoration of peace in Georgia is only possible if the democratic world exerts united, powerful and consistent pressure with this purpose. “The aggressor must know that the attack against a sovereign country will bring international sanctions,” says the draft filed by 37 members of parliament, according to which Russia must return to the principles of international cooperation and of international law.

Simultaneously the parliament draws attention to the fact that by justifying the needs of protecting its citizens Russia resorts to the same argument by which National Socialist Germany justified its attacks against the neighboring countries, Czechoslovakia and Poland and destruction of their independence. According to the draft, return to the use of such argumentation recreates a serious feeling of danger to peace throughout the world.

In the bill the Estonian parliament appeals to the United Nations, the European Union, the European Parliament, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and all democratic countries, particularly their parliaments, to give all-round assistance to Georgia in order to immediately stop the Russian military aggression and compensate the moral and material damage caused by the war. According to the bill, the parliament will make to the government a proposal to allocate humanitarian aid to Georgia to help mend its war damage.

According to the bill, the parliament expresses support to the application of new peacekeeping formats in Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia and appeals to the European Union to take part in them. According to the bill, the parliament does not regard it possible to continue talks between the European Union and Russia on cooperation and development if the aggression continues.

The initators of the bill said in the covering letter to the document that on August 8 Russia started extensive bombing of Georgia, in the course of which military sites, residential buildings and important infrastructure objects had been destroyed. “Such an aggression against a sovereign country is impermissible and demands immediate and resolute international interference,” they said.

According to the covering letter the parliament sees with concern that a country that had made outstanding achievements in democracy and the construction of free economy had come under an unjustified attack. Such an attack, partly by the ominously expressed justification of protection of its citizens, is a security threat to the whole world.

The initiators of the bill indicated that Russia’s conduct vis a vis of Georgia had been extremely provocative already before the beginning of immediate miliatry aggression. “If earlier Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity was expressed at least in words, then one month before, admitting flights of threat over Georgia’s territory, Russia dropped its pretences and started to prepare for an outright aggression,” they said, adding that such a development is the result of poor cooperation between democratic countries and insufficient interference.

Motions of amendment can be made to the bill, which was introduced to the parliament on Monday, until noon on Tuesday.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: