Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Window on Eurasia: GUAM May Now Have a ‘Serious Future’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 4 – GUAM, the association of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova,  in which so many over the past 15 years have placed so  much hope as a counterweight to the Moscow-dominated CIS, now has “a serious future” because of its support for European integration and opposition to Moscow’s support of separatism.

            In a speech to the opening session of a meeting in Tbilisi of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly, the Baltic Assembly, and a parliamentary delegation of the Republic of Poland this week, Davit Usupashvili, the speaker of the Georgian parliament, made that prediction (

            He gave as his reasons the fact that GUAM not only unites the four countries who are its members but also as become “a center of attraction” for “active cooperation” with the three Baltic countries, Eastern Europe, and the United States. And he added that “we will support this cooperation.”

            (Another reason for thinking that GUAM may soon play a larger role is that both Azerbaijan and Ukraine are pushing for Turkey to join the group, something that would also extend it beyond the borders of the former Soviet space.  See “Window on Eurasia: Baku and Kyiv Seek to Have Turkey Join GUAM,” at

            At the conclusion of the two-day session yesterday, the participants in the Tbilisi meeting adopted a joint statement (  Its key provisions included:

*** “The Participants welcomed the outcome of the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit and initialling by Georgia and Moldova of the Association Agreement with European Union, including DCFTAs, and noted the importance of the GUAM Ministers of Foreign Affairs Communiqué, confirming their European aspirations and their respective expectations.
The Participants also welcomed the anticipated concluding by Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova of the Association Agreements with the EU, including the DCFTAs.”

*** “The Participants reaffirm the particular role of the Partnership to support those who seek an ever closer relationship with the EU. In this light, they support the necessity to ensure adequate application of the basic principles of the EaP, such as differentiation, individual and “more-for-more” approach in the process of implementation of the EaP objectives.”

*** “The Participants emphasized the sovereign right of any state to choose and follow its foreign policy goals. They stressed once again the unacceptability of any kind of pressure on the countries for the purpose of making them change their choices and in this regard, condemned the external pressure exerted on GUAM member states.”

*** “The Participants expressed their deep concern that the conflicts in the territories of the GUAM member states remain unresolved and that they undermine the peace, security and cooperation at both the regional and European levels. They reaffirmed their respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of GUAM member states and their sustained efforts to achieve the peaceful settlement of conflicts in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova on the basis of norms and principles of international law, especially principles of the sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the inviolability of states’ internationally recognized borders. In this light, the Participants condemned any illegal foreign military presence on the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.”

*** “The Participants outlined with regret that, recently, acts and attempts encouraging aggressive separatism and legitimization of occupation have become more frequent (illegal visits of officials to the conflict regions and occupied territories; visits of separatist leaders to certain capitals; illegal economic and other activities in the conflict regions and occupied territories; illegal setting of artificial barriers/barbwire fences along the occupation line in the Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions of Georgia) and called upon the respective parties to stop actions that are incompatible with international law and undertaken obligations.”

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