21.02.2024 Author: Henry Kamens

Munich Security Conference and Zurabishvili-Zelensky Hugging in the Wake of the Retreat of NATO-Ukrainian army on all fronts

Munich Security Conference and Zurabishvili

When a politician, even a figurehead one, such as Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, goes against the official policy of her government, in this case the ruling Georgian Dream Party, by showing up for the recent Munich Security Conference, one has to questions her motivations. To add insult to injury, she is seen greeting and hugging the much discredited Zelensky, and that goes beyond the pale considering all that he is involved in, especially in the disappearance and resale of Western donated arms and the Ukrainian attempts to involve Georgia in the fight with Russia.

Her rhetoric speaks for itself, and lots can be read between the lines, and even words, Salome Zurabishvili, is worried that Western support for Ukraine is flagging.

“The Black Sea is our vital connection to Europe, and that’s what’s at stake,” as she told DW’s Michaela Küfner at the Munich Security Conference.

Georgia news has questioned her moves even before she arrived, especially in light of the current good relations between Georgia and the Russia Federation. As one recent article shares, Salome Zurabishvili Represents Only Herself at the Munich Security Conference, as the speaker of the Georgian Parliament sums it up, adding –

“In Munich, she represents only herself and not Georgia. Her presence there is that as a private individual, once again demonstrates her disregard for the Constitution of Georgia and the Georgian people. She perceives Georgia merely as the backyard of her residence, where she can act as she pleases.”

But what should not come as a surprise are her commercial interests, as related to me by some working in the fledgling Georgian military industry, some of them suppliers of weapons to NATO and the Georgian armed forces. I had presented the question, “Why did she go there against the policies of the government?”

Good lawyers and journalists know not to ask a question unless “he or she” does not pretty much already know the answer. The reply did not come as a great surprise, and can be summarized as follows.

Perhaps she wants to obtain personal benefit or benefit for someone else. There, after all, many agreements are reached behind closed doors. Or, perhaps she attended the conference so to satisfy some personal ambitions. Most likely there were several reasons, the people of Georgia may know about them and better later than never.

The most logical one, as confirmed by several sources, is that “she hopes to receive some dividends from the global military-technical industry. I wouldn’t be surprised if NATO and EU will try to increase their investment in the military-industry complex in Georgia.”

She is doing her own foreign policy, not Georgia’s!

Another reason is the Black Sea. Now, this is a place where everyone wants to gain control of, and in which the direction Georgia is inclined towards is also important. She also emphasizes how Ukraine is fighting for the rest of Europe, as she said in several of her interviews. Apparently, she also speaks for the American Congress, and predicts that funding will be approved for Ukraine.

She claims that she has the approval of the Georgian people for her actions, because of Georgia’s location and the aspirations of the Georgian people.  Not among the Georgians that I am close too, and she must be living in her own alternative reality.

I think it’s important not only what she said, but what she didn’t say. It is almost certain, considering her family background, her mother’s niece’s alleged espionage connections, other than her own. So, most likely, there were some kinds of behind-the-scenes negotiations going on during the conference; it usually happens.

And Georgia has a lot to offer in the way of weapons, far exceeding its size. One only needs to go to the official site of Delta – to start with, and it is not difficult to understand those who are involved, and who are well positioned to make money off the continuing war in Ukraine going on as long as possible.

The State Military-Scientific-Technical Center “DELTA” operates as an independent business entity under Georgian law, however, its close connections with the Georgian Military, as its main customer, and with American Defense contractors, are quite obvious. It is also a state-owned enterprise, under the official jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defense, its main customer.

The Americans, Israelis, and Europeans, have all taught the Georgians many things, including how to be war profiteers, including supplying things like cluster bombs and launch systems from Israel, armed and unarmed drones, and a wide array of weapons to Georgia – dating back even before the 2008 Georgian-Russian war, and this business is at a higher level now than ever.

Zurabishvili’s official vision for the near future is membership in the EU, [purportedly], and the weakening of Russia. The Munich Security Meeting is not only a political meeting but also a forum for the presence of representatives of the military technological complex.

Many deals are negotiated there. She didn’t go to Munich alone, look who was (or more to the point, wasn’t….) there with her from Georgia—and then our readers will know the rest of the story, as the Speaker of the Georgia Parliament nailed it, “Her presence there is that of a private individual and once again demonstrates her disregard for the Constitution of Georgia and the Georgian people.”

As we have already discussed in NEO many issues relating to Georgia, and there are many connections between the State Military Scientific-Technical Center “DELTA” (SMSTC “DELTA”), and suppliers of weapons and other defense related materials.

Finally, we must not forget the gimmick golf ball detectors sold as legitimate demining devices a few years ago, and not only to Georgia.  Those characters involved in such deals are still substantially involved in Defense procurements and exports, some with dodgy end user certificates. A few are still working as explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialists for the Defense Forces of Georgia and with the retreating Ukrainian army.

It is good to know, at least according to US VP Harris, as she repeated many times in Munich what has become a U.S. mantra: “that there is no plan B for how to help Ukraine because plan A, passing the $61 billion in support for Kyiv through Congress, will eventually succeed.”

Should it happen, [which I highly doubt], it will be especially good for Georgia, as it is highly-likely that US defense contractors will try to outsource some of the lucrative contacts that they will be getting, should it pass the House, to Georgia, a country that claims it continues to stand for democracy and human rights. At least now we know the most likely reason why President Salome Zurabishvili was in Munich hugging Zelensky and not the reason based on the proffered PR spin and such nice sounding rhetoric.

She says that she has spoken with President Zelensky and reiterated Georgia’s full solidarity with the people of Ukraine, which is definitely a stretch, given the way Georgians talk in private. She has also stated that in these tragic times for Ukraine and for all of Europe, President Zelensky is an exemplary leader, which ignores his suppression of the opposition, the nationalization under government control of media, and his attempt to ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

We can only assume that these are all policies that the French born “European Candidate” would like to impose in Georgia, in order to align with “European values”, given the EU and US whitewashing of Zelensky’s crimes against his own people in Ukraine.


Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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