On 12 March 2015, in his interview with Versia.ge, member of the Georgian Dream coalition and the Parliamentary Majority, Gogi Topadze, talked about Georgia’s foreign policy and its Euro-Atlantic perspectives. The MP stated: "Those who say that they are waiting for us in NATO are lying [to the people]. NATO will not receive us and with these kinds of talks we are irritating our aggressive northern neighbour. The Georgian Dream is not lying. NATO is not the [declared] priority of the Georgian Dream."FactCheck
took interest in the accuracy of Mr Topadze’s statement.
Since Gogi Topadze talks about the "priorities," we shall only analyse the extent to which the issue of NATO is represented in the Georgian Dream coalition’s official documents. Hence, we shall not enter into the political discourse about whether or not the Georgian Dream coalition is actually trying to integrate into NATO.
The Georgian Dream coalition’s founding declaration was signed on 21 February 2012. The declaration set out the coalition’s goals and priorities.
Point 3 of the declaration says that one of the coalition’s foreign policy goals is to ensure security and the strengthening of the regional positions of the country "for which the coalition will deepen integration with the EU and NATO and participate in the economic and peacekeeping processes of a regional level."The founding document was also signed
by Gogi Topadze as a chairman and one of the coalition’s political subjects.
In addition, on 7 March 2013, the Parliament of Georgia adopted, with 96 for and none against, a new document about foreign policy priorities which stated that Georgia would not become a member of international organisations which contradict its main foreign policy priority – integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. Point 3 of the document reads: "The main foreign policy priority of the country is integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. In order to achieve the strategic priorities of integrating into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, Georgia will take further steps towards building and strengthening democratic institutions, a system of governance based upon the rule of law, establishing the utmost importance of human rights and ensuring sustainable economic development. Georgia will not join international organisations whose policies contradict these priorities."
It should be noted that after his 13 March 2015 statement, Mr Topadze made another statement, saying that Bidzina Ivanishvili knew that the Industrial Party (Mr Topadze’s party) was against integration into NATO but he still invited them into the coalition due to their "national position."
The recent statement by Mr Topadze contradicts both the Georgian Dream coalition’s founding declaration and its foreign policy priorities as well as the statements of the members of his party. For example, we can recall the 12 October 2012 statement of Zurab Tkemaladze where he said that despite the distant perspective of integration into NATO, the Industrials fully share the coalition’s priorities about integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.
Gogi Topadze, as one of the chairmen and political subjects of the coalition, has also signed the Georgian Dream coalition’s founding document which prioritises deepening the integration into NATO and the EU. This document determined the coalition’s foreign policy priorities and its declared goal of integrating into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. Hence, Gogi Topadze’s statement contradicts both the Georgian Dream coalition’s founding document as well as the document about Georgia’s foreign policy priorities adopted by the Parliament of Georgia and the statement made by his colleagues from his own party as well as from the coalition.Hence, Gogi Topadze’s statement is a LIE.