A senior official from Germany’s ministry of defense was in Tbilisi on Tuesday, meeting counterparts and doing the things that senior defense officials do, including a reception put on by the German embassy. According to one person present at the reception, during his brief remarks he said the Georgia was likely to be a NATO member this year, at which point (by the same account) the ambassador’s jaw dropped for a moment. Then professional training set in, and her poker face returned.
If this account is accurate, and his remarks are on message, it would be a significant change in the German position. It may be walked back — the German ambassador to NATO was quoted in yesterday’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung saying that no member expected Georgian membership soon — but the April summit in Strasbourg and Kehl could have some surprises.