Ten years have passed since the end of the 2008 Russian-Georgian war. This five-day conflict (August 7 - August 12) is considered the first European war of the 21st century. The war did not alter the general regional equilibrium but strengthened the balance between the Southern Caucasian republics and extra-regional players (especially the US). However, the crisis militarised relations in the region and allowed the US to take the “Russian seat” in Georgia.
Since the early 2000s, the long-term strategic goal of the European Union in the eastern part of the continent has been to establish an area of stability and security, based on multilateral cooperation and integration, via the EU’s declared intent of serving as an example and a pole of attraction for its eastern partners. The Georgian war of 2008 appeared at the time as the single most significant threat from an external actor to the attainment of this strategic goal.
NATO’s strategy towards Georgia after the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict has been following two key objectives: to intensify relations with Georgia to keep the country on the reform track but to prevent it from joining the alliance in order not to irritate Russia. These somewhat contradictory goals are perhaps the result of complex bargaining between supporters and opponents of NATO’s further enlargement, and hardliners and soft-liners in terms of the alliance’s Russia policy.
The year 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the so-called “five-day war” or "August war", namely the conflict between Georgia, Russia and the Russian-backed, self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
European integration remains the top priority for the Georgian government and society at large. The integration process involves many sectors, from good governance and human rights to security, environment, and the economy.