President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili is in Washington this week for a meeting with President Obama, a meeting that is all talk and smiles but no substance.Russia, Georgia’s main rival, joined the WTO recently. Georgian opposition was the “last stumbling block” in that process, and the White House likely promised Saakashvili a meeting with Obama in return for dropping objections to Russia’s WTO membership.Washington’s attempted re-set with Moscow has not been smooth, but the Obama administration isn’t eager to provoke the Kremlin or encourage the fiery and nationalistic Georgians to take Russia on.Georgians often think that a Republican White House would be more sympathetic to their cause (significant chunks of their country have been occupied by Russia which recognized the breakaway ‘republics’ of South Ossetia and Abkhazia). They are, I think, wrong. Both US parties sympathize with Georgia, but no US president wants the hyperactive Georgian tail to wag the dog of US-Russian relations.As for Georgia’s long term goals of NATO and EU membership, the US again sympathizes, but there is not a lot we can do. NATO candidates need unanimous support to join the alliance and many NATO countries want to avoid annoying Russia — and also worry that Georgia’s unresolved disputes with Russia and tradition of hotheaded leadership could create a dangerous crisis. For its part, the EU seems unlikely to take on any new challenges soon; it has more than enough on its plate.Saakashvili will make the most of his official reception in the White House, but Georgia needs to understand the limits of western support. US-Russian relations may be cooling as the reset fades, but the US is more interested in avoiding unnecessary run-ins with the Russians than in launching a new policy of containment.