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Euro-Atlantic Security and Integration of the South Caucasus

Extract from a Presentation by Georgian Foreign Minister Tedo Japaridze, NATO Workshop on Emerging Threats to Energy Security and Stability, January 23-25, 2004, Windsor Castle, UK

"The Western world, and particularly the European states have long considered the South Caucasus and the Eastern shore of the Black Sea as a region historically, politically and psychologically separated from Europe. Only recent global political developments made it clear that this area is becoming an important security, political and economical component of a new, wider Europe.

Developments, which have been taking place since November 2nd elections, prove that the Georgian nation and state have irreversibly chosen the way of democratic development. People, who had patiently endured economical problems, hardship, corruption, have expressed their protest at very moment, when democracy was endangered, national dignity was injured and basic constitutional right to vote was ignored. Within the November 2003 revolution the Georgian people defended the right to live in a democratic state. What is the most important, this right was defended peacefully, without violence and blood, breaking the constitutional order, through the civil protest.

The South Caucasus is to be considered as an inseparable element of the Euro-Atlantic security framework and a part of EU's new Wider Europe-New Neighbors initiative.

The security situation and the region-building in the Black Sea-Caspian Sea area, considered in a global context, are determined to a large degree by the effects of three sets of interrelated and interdependent factors:
  1. The persistent geopolitical, geo-strategic and geo-economic influences of the expanding security, civil, and economic space of the democratic European and Euro-Atlantic institutions in the Eastern Black Sea - South Caucasus - Caspian Sea area.
  2. The continuing fight against global terrorism and the proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction
  3. The oil and natural gas energy policy within and connected with the region."

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