Just 120 kilometers separated NATO and Russian forces this week, as Georgia hosted U.S. and British troops for live-fire exercises.
The military maneuvers were designed to increase the ability of Georgia's armed forces to work as part of NATO's rapid-response force.
But the high-profile exercises also illustrated something else. Even as Georgia's armed forces become increasingly interoperable with the Western alliance, the door to NATO membership -- while theoretically open -- remains effectively closed.
And to the north, Moscow is biding its time as it seeks to reassert its dominance over Tbilisi -- one way or another.
On this week's Power Vertical Podcast, we discuss Georgia's quest for security against a resurgent and revanchist Russia.
Joining me are James Nixey, head of the Russia and Eurasia Program at Chatham House and an expert on Moscow's relations with former Soviet states, and Tbilisi-based political analyst Ghia Nodia, a professor at Ilia State University.
Listen to or download the podcast above or subscribe to The Power Vertical Podcast on iTunes.
CLARIFICATION: During the discussion on this podcast, I incorrectly referred to "Association Partnerships" that NATO was reportedly considering offering to Georgia and Ukraine at the alliance's upcoming Warsaw summit. In fact, NATO is not considering Association Partnerships for these two countries. In recent remarks in Kyiv, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow referred to a possible "Comprehensive Assistance Package," that would consolidate the alliance's support for Ukraine. This would be similar to the Substantial Assistance Package that Georgia received at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales.