Assume the Position

Saturday, November 23, 2002
So, who invited you? "Stalin's grandson says Stalin would never have allowed Georgia to join NATO."
TBILISI. Nov 21 (Interfax) - Stalin would never have allowed Georgia to join NATO, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, the grandson of Joseph Stalin, and who lives in Tbilisi, told Interfax.

"Stalin would never have allowed it, because it is aimed against the interest of Russia and Georgia," he said. Dzhugashvili sharply criticized the Georgian authorities' desire to join NATO. Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, who is expected to announce the country's intention to become a NATO member at the Prague summit, "is acting like an enemy of the people."

"Shevardnadze is making a historical mistake by choosing NATO over Russia," Dzhugashvili said.

Dzhugashvili is a retired colonel and is a specialist in military history. Until recently he has been heavily involved in politics. He headed the New Communist Party of Georgia, but has now left this post.

Invitations to join NATO were extended to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Who isn't on that list? Georgia.

UPDATE Nov 26, 2002: I suppose I should point out that the seven countries invited to join NATO are all members of EAPC (Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council), commonly referred to as "NATO Partners," and that Georgia is also an EAPC member. Dzhugashvili's comments didn't come out of thin air, but what Stalin would have thought about Georgia joining NATO is rather moot. Additionally, if anyone considers another Stalin comming to power in Russia, the actions Stalin would have taken to prevent Georgia from joining NATO are probably the best reasons for Georgia wanting to join.

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