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Pentagon says the delivery of 26 tons of security assistance to Georgia enhances the capabilities of the country

According to a Department of Defense spokesman speaking to Europetime, the delivery of 26 tons of security assistance to Georgia enhances the capabilities of the country. „The delivery of 26 tons of security assistance to primarily Building Partner Capacity Section 333 Program (10 USC $ 333) funded assistance. There were no significant new capabilities as part of this package. The Building Partner Capacity Section 333 Program has long served to build partnerships with foreign nations by providing military and equipment training to enhance partner nations' capabilities“, - Pentagon says. Georgia receives $11.5 million in equipment from the US. According to the US Embassy in Georgia, 26 tons of security assistance were handed over to the Defense Forces of Georgia. „Today we delivered 26 tons of security assistance to enhance the defensive capabilities of Georgian Defense Forces. This $11.5 million in equipment, is just one way the U.S. supports our strategic partnership with Georgia“, - the statement reads. 

Georgia receives $11.5 million in equipment from the US

According to the US Embassy in Georgia, 26 tons of security assistance were handed over to the Defense Forces of Georgia. „Today we delivered 26 tons of security assistance to enhance the defensive capabilities of Georgian Defense Forces. This $11.5 million in equipment, is just one way the U.S. supports our strategic partnership with Georgia“, - the statement reads.   

State Department on Reeker's visit: The United States is committed to promoting a democratic and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region

Ambassador Reeker, who was recently named Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations, is currently in Baku where he met on Tuesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 14 with senior Azerbaijani leaders. Ambassador Reeker met with President Aliyev on Tuesday. According to a State Department spokesperson speaking to Europetime, In all locations, Ambassador Reeker will emphasize that the United States is committed to promoting a secure, stable, democratic, prosperous, and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region. In all 3 countries, Ambassador Reeker is meeting with senior officials to discuss key issues in the region as well as look at pathways to assist partners in engaging directly and constructively to resolve outstanding issues and further regional cooperation. In all locations, Ambassador Reeker will emphasize that the United States is committed to promoting a secure, stable, democratic, prosperous, and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region. On August 24, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed Reeker the country’s Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations.  US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said at a press briefing on September 7 that Reeker will conduct his first visit in this new capacity to the region. „ambassador Reeker, our senior advisor for Caucasus negotiations, will be traveling to the region this week in what will be his first trip in this new role. This is a first of what we expect to be regular travel to the region. He departs this evening and will be going to Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, and in all three countries he’ll meet with senior officials to discuss key issues in the region as well as looking for pathways to assist partners and engaging directly and constructively to resolve outstanding issues and further regional cooperation“, - Patel said.

The EU underlined that Georgia’s European path is merit-based

On 6 September 2022, the European Union and Georgia held the 7th meeting of the EU-Georgia Association Council in Brussels. The Association Council highlighted the historic importance of the decision of the European Council of 23 June 2022 to recognise the European perspective to Georgia. The participants acknowledged that the European Council expressed readiness to grant candidate status once the priorities specified in the Commission’s opinion have been addressed. The future of Georgia and their citizens lies within the European Union. In this context, the EU welcomed that the work had started in the Georgian Parliament and encouraged the ruling party to engage in an inclusive process with participation of representatives from the civil society and parliamentary opposition groups. The EU called on Georgia’s political forces to unite, work together and engage to address these priorities as a matter of priority. The EU underlined that Georgia’s European path is merit-based. The EU is ready to use all instruments to support it.  The Association Council welcomed the adoption of the revised EU-Georgia Association Agenda for the period 2021-2027. The document establishes a set of jointly agreed priorities towards further implementation of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). The EU and Georgia reaffirmed their continued commitment to bringing tangible benefits to the lives of Georgian citizens across key areas of cooperation. The EU will support Georgia in implementing the agreed objectives and priorities. The Association Council reiterated its commitment to further strengthen EU-Georgia relations, including through fully exploiting the potential of the Association Agreement including the DCFTA. The Association Council recalled that the effective implementation of the Association Agreement and its DCFTA, linked to the broader process of regulatory approximation and related necessary reforms, contributes to establishing conditions for enhanced economic and trade relations with the EU leading to Georgia’s further gradual economic integration in the European Union Internal Market, as envisaged in the Association Agreement. The EU acknowledged that Georgia has carried out a number of challenging reforms and successfully approximated its legislation with the EU acquis in many sectors. The EU expressed, however, important concerns over the lack of substantial progress and negative developments in some key areas in 2021. The EU encouraged Georgia to redouble its efforts to further consolidate democracy and reduce the political polarisation, to strengthen the rule of law, the independence, integrity and accountability of the judiciary and the fight against corruption. The EU also called upon Georgia to further enhance the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including gender equality and ensure equal treatment between women and men, as well as persons belonging to minorities, regardless of religion or belief, ethnic or national origins, race, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability or other ground in social, political and economic life and stressed the importance of media freedom and civil society engagement. Democracy, rule of law and human rights are essential priorities for Georgia to advance on its European path. The Association Council welcomed the progress on the preparations of the Human Rights Strategy of Georgia for 2022-2030. The EU recalled that the upcoming discussions in the Parliament create a good opportunity for inclusive approach and due consultations with all key actors. The Association Council recalled that upholding the highest standards of judicial independence, the right to a fair trial and the rule of law are essential commitments of Georgia under the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. The EU urged Georgia to effectively ensure the independence, integrity and accountability of judicial and prosecutorial bodies, and adopt and implement an ambitious judicial reform strategy post-2021 based on a broad, inclusive and cross-party process, in line with European standards and the recommendations of the Venice Commission. The EU underlined the need to ensure effective and efficient investigations of violence against media professionals in the context of the 5 July 2021 Tbilisi Pride March and strengthen preventive measures. The EU urged Georgia to bring all those responsible to justice, while noting steps taken so far. The EU welcomed that the events related to Tbilisi pride in 2022 proceeded in a peaceful atmosphere. The EU underlined its firm support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. The Association Council reaffirmed its strong commitment to conflict resolution in Georgia through a comprehensive approach, including the EU policy of non-recognition and engagement, and with due attention to the women, peace and security agenda. The Association Council stressed the critical importance of the Geneva International Discussions and Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) for addressing and resolving the challenges stemming from the conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008. The EU and Georgia deplored the continued implementation of so-called "treaties" on integration signed between the Russian Federation and the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, and other illegal activities of Russia in these regions, in violation of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the military build-up and installation of barbed wire fences along the administrative boundary line. The Association Council expressed concerns about the dire human rights situation in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, especially with regard to arbitrary detentions, restrictions to the right to freedom of movement, violation of property rights and education in mother tongue, ethnic discrimination of Georgians, and impunity in the cases of deprivation of life of Georgian citizens. The Association Council stressed the need for unhindered access by international humanitarian and human rights mechanisms of the relevant international organisations, as well as the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), to both of these Georgian regions. The Association Council stressed the importance of support to people-to-people contacts and confidence building measures across the divides. The Association Council recalled the European Court of Human Rights Judgement in the case concerning the armed conflict between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 and its consequences, which ruled that after 12 August 2008 the Russian Federation, exercising effective control over the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, violated several provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Association Council reiterated the obligation for the Russian Federation to fulfil the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and reaffirmed its expectation that the Russian Federation should withdraw its military forces from Georgia’s territory and allow the establishment of international security mechanisms on the ground.  The Council stressed the obligation to ensure safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their homes. The Association Council condemned in the strongest possible terms the unprovoked and unjustified Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and agreed to continue cooperating in the international fora to hold Russia accountable. Georgia recalled its commitment to continue doing its utmost to prevent sanctions circumvention. The EU and Georgia also committed to continue working closely on further strengthening the overall resilience of Georgia, in line with the objectives of EU-Georgia security cooperation.  The EU reconfirmed its support to Georgia in countering hybrid and cyber threats as well as its continued engagement in strategic communication and countering disinformation. In this context, the EU expressed concern over the increased anti-Western disinformation and rhetoric which risks damaging Georgia’s European path. The path which is supported by the government of Georgia and a vast majority of the Georgian people. The EU recognised Georgia as a key partner in the region and acknowledged the importance of EU-Georgia cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy. The EU welcomed Georgia’s continued participation in civil and military crisis management operations under the Common Security and Defence Policy, namely in the EU military training mission in the Central African Republic and the EU Training Mission in Mali. The Association Council welcomed successful recovery from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, with GDP growth in Georgia at 10.4% in 2021, and this positive trend continued during the first months of 2022. The Association Council recalled the EU’s contribution to Georgia’s macroeconomic stability and overall resilience in 2020-2021. The Association Council welcomed that the EU remained Georgia’s largest trading partner and that Georgia’s exports to the EU were growing. The Association Council underlined the common ambition to increase EU-Georgia trade flows inter alia through further alleviation of obstacles to trade in a targeted way. The Association Council welcomed that Georgia had fulfilled the main requirements for phase I of the Public Procurement Roadmap, including the establishment of a new dispute resolution body, which led to increased market access. The Association Council underlined the importance and mutual interest in enhancing the connectivity between EU and Georgia in key areas such as transport, energy and digital sectors, recalling the potential of the agreed flagship initiatives under the Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership. The Association Council reiterated Georgia's key role as a partner for European energy security, and notably its transit role for Caspian hydrocarbon resources via the Southern Gas Corridor. In this context, the EU reaffirmed the importance of the Black Sea. The EU welcomed Georgia’s interest in joining the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), and expressed willingness to support Georgia’s efforts in meeting the criteria. EU also welcomed Georgia’s interest in participating in the EU Single Market Programme. The Association Council welcomed Georgia’s association to the EU Customs and Fiscalis programmes. The EU welcomed Georgia’s actions to address the European Commission’s recommendations under the visa suspension mechanism and encouraged continued and sustained efforts, including to address the issue of unfounded asylum applications and to fight organised crime. The EU welcomed the implementation of the amendments to the Law of Georgia on “Rules for Georgian Citizens Exiting and Entering Georgia”. The Association Council stressed the importance of Eastern Partnership as a regional format and underlined the need to adapt it to the evolving reality in the region. The EU appreciated Georgia’s strong involvement in Erasmus+, Horizon Europe and the Creative Europe programme. The meeting was co-chaired by High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili.

NATO: LANDCOM officers' visit to Georgia concluded with the signature of a formal agreement by both parties

LANDCOM officers conducted an Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) Advisory Visit (AV) in Georgia (GEO) for their upcoming NATO Led Evaluation, Level 2 (NEL2) happening now. This visit is part of a robust and long standing relationship between LANDCOM and Georgia Land Forces. According to a NATO official speaking to Europetime, NATO Land Component Command (LANDCOM) provided three officers to conduct an advisory visit to Georgia and the visit concluded with the signature of a formal agreement by both parties.  NATO Land Component Command (LANDCOM) provided 3 officers to conduct an advisory visit to Georgia, in preparation for the upcoming second level of the NATO Led Evaluation process (called NEL2) aimed at determining the level of operational capability of a light infantry company from Georgia, which is also listed for NATO's Response Force. The visit occurred from 22 to 26 August 2022. It featured a series of briefings and meetings - including with the Georgian Deputy Chief of Defence - and activities. The visit concluded with the signature of a formal agreement by both parties over a set of Performance Measures against which the second phase of the mentioned evaluation process will be based“, - NATO official said. According to NATO Georgia is a prioritised NATO partner with an infantry company listed for NATO’s Response Forces (NRF).  

Ambassador Degnan: Things like Gavrilov’s night, things like broken political promises and anti-democratic actions - that’s where this depolarization came from, not from Western partners

„I think it’s important for Georgians to remember, to look back three years, four years, and remember where this depolarization came from. Things like Gavrilov’s night, things like broken political promises and anti-democratic actions. That’s where this depolarization came from, not from Western partners“, - US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan stated. The U.S. ambassador emphasized that the accusations made against the U.S. and others "are reckless conspiracy theories that have no basis. Ambassador Degnan: Let me start by saying that for decades we have been working with Georgia on judicial reform, and there has been some very important progress over the course of the last decade in particular, where we’ve seen some good reform efforts. Everyone knows that there is more work to be done there. That has never been an issue of debate, so it’s a little puzzling why there is such resistance now to doing the work that everybody has been saying for a long time: it needs to continue to improve Georgia’s judiciary, to make sure that it truly is independent, impartial, autonomous, and responsive to the public. In this case, it is baffling to me why there is a question about the kind of consultation that has been ongoing, not just with the United States, but with other legal experts, domestic and international, for decades on judicial reform. That consultative process has resulted in improvements in Georgia’s judiciary. There is more to be done, and that includes commitments that the Georgia’s political leaders across the political spectrum have already agreed to multiple times over multiple years: that these kinds of improvements still need to be made. There are recommendations from the Venice Commission and ODIHR. These are international legal experts who provide this kind of advice globally to countries like Georgia and other countries as to how to improve their judicial system. Many of them have been fulfilled. Many of them have not. These are the same steps. These are the same reforms that Georgia’s political leaders have agreed to do, both in the April 19th agreement, after the April 19th agreement, and before the April 19th agreement. Some of these are now being discussed in the judicial working groups that Parliament is hosting, and that the opposition and civil society have also contributed to this group. Obviously, the United States has also helped Georgia for many years in building its democratic institutions. That includes a diverse Parliament that represents the Georgian public. I’m not sure what this group (the quartet) represents. I’m not sure who they represent, and I’m not sure how different they are from the ruling party that they say they left. What I can say is that the accusations that they most recently made against the United States and others are reckless conspiracy theories that have no basis. In fact, it’s very important to keep in mind that the United States works with all political parties across the political spectrum. We meet with Georgians from across the political spectrum, and we have for over 30 years. This is how we know how we can better support Georgia in trying to help Georgia develop its democratic institutions, develop its economy, ensure that it is more secure and stable as a democracy. This is the work that we’ve been doing with our Georgian partners for over 30 years and what we will continue to do in the coming years. I would say that any accusations that we are responsible in any way for the polarization that exists here is an attempt to shift the blame from those who know they are responsible to Western partners, who have done nothing but tried to help Georgia for 30 years along its European path. That is all we have done. I can say from the two and a half years that I’ve been here. Almost every single day, I have worked to try and bring Georgia’s political leaders together to try and bridge the deep polarization that existed long before I got here. And I think it’s important for Georgians to remember, to look back three years, four years, and remember where this depolarization came from. Things like Gavrilov’s night, things like broken political promises and anti-democratic actions. That’s where this depolarization came from, not from Western partners, who again, have only been trying to help Georgia bridge this deep polarization so that the Parliament and other institutions can focus on what’s really important to Georgians: jobs, high prices, good education, better public health. That’s what Parliament needs to be focusing on, and now, in particular, the 12 recommendations that the European Commission has put forward, including pledges that Georgia’s political leaders have made before, and said they were going to do. This is the time to get that done. This is the time to really focus, in an inclusive manner, together, to put aside differences and focus on getting that candidate status.  

Giviko Abdushelishvili: Patriotism is professionalism, you have to constantly strive to stand on the side of the right values

Unprecedented sanctions have been imposed on Russia’s economy, financial system, government and its allies over the attack on Ukraine by the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries. At the same time, the world's leading companies have announced the termination of business relations with Russia. Georgia already went through the processes that are underway in Ukraine in the 2008 Georgia-Russia war, and still has to live in the conditions of creeping occupation. Not to mention the 20% of Georgia's territories that Russia has occupied so far. The activity and protest of young people against Russia and the desire to help Ukraine are exceptional, they openly voice their position from different universities and different platforms. Giviko Abdushelishvili studies in New York in high school. At the age of 16, he decided to contribute to helping Ukrainian citizens affected by Russian aggression. Thus, Georgian Giviko Abdushelishvili and Ukrainian Arseniy Nasikovskiy have decided to create a website and sell their own clothes, and donate the profits to the aid fund for the people of Ukariane. ‘Our mission is simple - we help Ukraine through selling our clothes and donating the profits. Each and every one of our items contains a #. We leverage social media to promote the message of peace. Both of us study in New York, in high school and we constantly experience worries and fears about the situation in Ukraine. Therefore, we have launched this project. Buy our clothing and help Ukraine’ says Giviko Andishelishvili. According to him, it is also very important to spread the message of truth and peace as it is an information war as well. The hashtag used by them allows the issue of Ukraine to be more visible and widespread. Giviko Abdushelishvili has also recorded a video address, where he talks about the current situation and ways to implement sanctions more effectively. ‘Multiple world leaders have already implemented further sanctions against the Russian Federation. However, as I mentioned in my Tweet, the Russian Federation might implement and legalize crypto-currency payments, which cannot be tracked upon all of the European and the American states. Mr. Boris Johnson, a UK diplomat and a representative has stated officially that the UK stands with Ukraine, so the UK have imposed sanctions on President Putin, Sergey Lavrov, 5 Russian banks, more a hundred companies and oligarchs at the heart of Putin’s regime and Belarus. President Duda of Poland has mentioned and I have mentioned in my tweet that Poland supports the express path of Ukraine joining the European Union. They want it to happen as fast as possible, however, it should still be noted with other European Union world leaders’. Giviko Abdushelishvili was born in Georgia to a family of diplomats. His grandfather Givi Abdushelishvili was the first ambassador of independent Georgia to Uzbekistan and one of the signatories of the Georgian Independence Act. He wants to get an American education and return to Georgia. As he mentions in his conversation with us, his desire is to help the country with his profession to develop and integrate with the West. On the question whether he is thinking of the career of a diplomat, he smiles. "It is too early to talk about it... The main thing is to be a good citizen, a good professional in your job, because professionalism is patriotism. There is a long way of studies ahead, but what’s most important is you have to constantly strive to stand on the side of the right ‘, says Giviko.

Ambassador Hubert Knirsch: The verdict of the European Court confirms that Russia is responsible before the law for human rights abuses in the torn-away regions that occurred after the 2008 war

In an interview with Europetime, Germany's ambassador to Georgia- Hubert Knirsch commented on the European Court of Human Rights verdict. "The verdict of the European Court of Human Rights confirms that Russia is responsible before the law for human rights abuses in the torn-away regions that occurred after the 2008 war. Our political ambition must be not only to effectively include these regions in the international mechanisms for the protection of human rights but also to transform and ultimately to solve the conflicts that have cast their shadows over them for such a long time already. All participants should make full use of the Geneva International Discussions to move forward on this road",- Hubert Knirsch said.

economic

The United States supports Georgian economic development, the Multimodal Terminal in Batumi is an example of this support - The US Embassy

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of US-Georgia diplomatic relations, US Ambassador Kelly Degnan paid a visit to the Batumi Multimodal Terminal. The US Embassy in Georgia has made relevant material public. According to the U.S. embassy the United States supports Georgian economic development by working with American firms to enter and compete in Georgian markets and the Multimodal Terminal in Batumi is an example of this support, representing the biggest American investment in the Adjara region. „During her visit to the terminal Ambassador Degnan noted how such investments pave the way for other U.S. businesses to look at the Georgian market and utilize its potential as a transportation, logistics, and commercial hub“, - the U.S. embassy said.   A new multimodal terminal in Batumi port opened in june, 2021. Its capacity is up to 1.5 million tons per year. The project investors are the American corporation Trammo together with Wondernet Express Investment Group. The construction of the terminal began in 2019, and the investments in the project reach $25 million.  

Analytics

Pentagon says the delivery of 26 tons of security assistance to Georgia enhances the capabilities of the country

According to a Department of Defense spokesman speaking to Europetime, the delivery of 26 tons of security assistance to Georgia enhances the capabilities of the country. „The delivery of 26 tons of security assistance to primarily Building Partner Capacity Section 333 Program (10 USC $ 333) funded assistance. There were no significant new capabilities as part of this package. The Building Partner Capacity Section 333 Program has long served to build partnerships with foreign nations by providing military and equipment training to enhance partner nations' capabilities“, - Pentagon says. Georgia receives $11.5 million in equipment from the US. According to the US Embassy in Georgia, 26 tons of security assistance were handed over to the Defense Forces of Georgia. „Today we delivered 26 tons of security assistance to enhance the defensive capabilities of Georgian Defense Forces. This $11.5 million in equipment, is just one way the U.S. supports our strategic partnership with Georgia“, - the statement reads. 

State Department on Reeker's visit: The United States is committed to promoting a democratic and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region

Ambassador Reeker, who was recently named Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations, is currently in Baku where he met on Tuesday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 14 with senior Azerbaijani leaders. Ambassador Reeker met with President Aliyev on Tuesday. According to a State Department spokesperson speaking to Europetime, In all locations, Ambassador Reeker will emphasize that the United States is committed to promoting a secure, stable, democratic, prosperous, and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region. In all 3 countries, Ambassador Reeker is meeting with senior officials to discuss key issues in the region as well as look at pathways to assist partners in engaging directly and constructively to resolve outstanding issues and further regional cooperation. In all locations, Ambassador Reeker will emphasize that the United States is committed to promoting a secure, stable, democratic, prosperous, and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region. On August 24, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed Reeker the country’s Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations.  US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said at a press briefing on September 7 that Reeker will conduct his first visit in this new capacity to the region. „ambassador Reeker, our senior advisor for Caucasus negotiations, will be traveling to the region this week in what will be his first trip in this new role. This is a first of what we expect to be regular travel to the region. He departs this evening and will be going to Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, and in all three countries he’ll meet with senior officials to discuss key issues in the region as well as looking for pathways to assist partners and engaging directly and constructively to resolve outstanding issues and further regional cooperation“, - Patel said.

NATO: LANDCOM officers' visit to Georgia concluded with the signature of a formal agreement by both parties

LANDCOM officers conducted an Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) Advisory Visit (AV) in Georgia (GEO) for their upcoming NATO Led Evaluation, Level 2 (NEL2) happening now. This visit is part of a robust and long standing relationship between LANDCOM and Georgia Land Forces. According to a NATO official speaking to Europetime, NATO Land Component Command (LANDCOM) provided three officers to conduct an advisory visit to Georgia and the visit concluded with the signature of a formal agreement by both parties.  NATO Land Component Command (LANDCOM) provided 3 officers to conduct an advisory visit to Georgia, in preparation for the upcoming second level of the NATO Led Evaluation process (called NEL2) aimed at determining the level of operational capability of a light infantry company from Georgia, which is also listed for NATO's Response Force. The visit occurred from 22 to 26 August 2022. It featured a series of briefings and meetings - including with the Georgian Deputy Chief of Defence - and activities. The visit concluded with the signature of a formal agreement by both parties over a set of Performance Measures against which the second phase of the mentioned evaluation process will be based“, - NATO official said. According to NATO Georgia is a prioritised NATO partner with an infantry company listed for NATO’s Response Forces (NRF).  

The United States is working with NATO allies to support Georgia’s security and defense modernization efforts

EXCLUSIVE According to a State Department spokesperson U.S. security assistance to Georgia has focused on capabilities that improve defense modernization. `Georgia is a highly valued U.S. and NATO partner. The United States strongly supports Georgia’s NATO aspirations and is working with NATO Allies to support its security and defense modernization efforts. The United States also held Bilateral Defense Consultations with Georgia on May 20. „The Georgia Defense and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative (GDDEI) is a formal bilateral effort by the United States and Georgia to continue their strong military-to-military relationship and builds upon the success of the Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GDRP).  GDDEI builds on the progress achieved under GDRP by enhancing deterrence and territorial defense capabilities, fostering interoperability with NATO, and enabling institutional reform and modernization through organizational change management“, - a State Department spokesperson said.  U.S. Department of State: Security assistance to Georgia has focused on capabilities that enhance defense modernization and reforms

U.S. Department of State: Security assistance to Georgia has focused on capabilities that enhance defense modernization and reforms

Pending Congressional clearance, the Department of State intends to provide $35 million in new FY 2022 Foreign Military Financing (FMF). This is the same amount of bilateral FMF Georgia received in FY 2021. As a State Department spokesperson told Europetime, U.S. security assistance to Georgia has focused on capabilities that improve defense modernization.   `U.S. security assistance to Georgia has focused on capabilities that enhance defense modernization and reforms that 1) provide Georgia increased capabilities and capacity to defend its territory and sovereignty, 2) improve training and professionalization, 3) help Georgian forces to work together more effectively with NATO, 4) strengthen maritime domain awareness, and 5) support Georgian participation in coalition operations (of note, Georgia was the largest non-NATO troop contributor to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan through the 2021 drawdown). These funds will continue to build upon our steadfast security cooperation`, - a State Department spokesperson said.    Georgia has received over $400 million in FMF since 1997.  

Javier Colomina: We are currently discussing what the tailored support should entail for Georgia and we expect them to be adopted at the Madrid Summit

NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy, Javier Colomina, answered questions by Europetime about the NATO Summit, NATO-Georgia relations, the Russian war in Ukraine, the accession process of Finland and Sweden, as well as other topical issues. ET: What is your opinion on the implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for NATO? In the long run, how do you view these consequences, and how do you see the alliance's relations with Russia in general?  Russia’s aggression against Ukraine represents the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades. It has shattered peace in Europe and is causing enormous human suffering and destruction. We see President Putin concentrating his forces in eastern Ukraine after his failed offensive against Kyiv. Russia is now engaged in a war of attrition, with high numbers of casualties on both sides. The Russian military has resorted to indiscriminate levelling of Ukrainian cities. Schools, hospitals, and residential areas have been flattened and the humanitarian conditions in Russian-controlled areas are dire. Furthermore, President Putin’s war is driving up food prices, pushing people into poverty and destabilising entire regions. This is cynical and destructive and the costs are being borne by the world’s most vulnerable people. We call on Russia to immediately end its blockade of Ukrainian ports; and Allies are working hard, also with the United Nations, to find solutions. Against this background, NATO continues to pursue two parallel priorities. First, we continue to support Ukraine. On the other, we are making sure that this war does not escalate further into Allied territory, while we keep protecting one billion of our citizens living in NATO countries. NATO Allies have provided support for Ukraine for many years, including with equipment, financial support, and training for tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops. Allies and partners have already provided Ukraine with billions of dollars’ worth of lethal and non-lethal equipment, as well as humanitarian aid. All of this is making a difference on the battlefield, helping Ukraine to uphold its right of self-defence, which is enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Allies are also providing substantial humanitarian aid, including by hosting millions of refugees.  They are now stepping up further, with many types of light and heavy military equipment. Secondly, we reacted to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with speed and unity, to protect our nations. Over 40,000 troops are now under direct NATO command, backed by major air and naval power. This is to deter further Russian aggression, in other words, aimed not at provoking a conflict, but rather at preventing it and restoring peace. We continue to call on President Putin to stop his war in Ukraine, withdraw his troops and engage in good faith in the diplomatic process. Our relationship with Russia is at its lowest point since the Cold War. We regret this, and it is not of our choosing. Our relationship with Russia was not always like this. The fall of the Berlin Wall ushered a new era of partnership with Russia. For many years, we would discuss our common security in the NATO-Russia Council. We cooperated in areas of common interest, from counter-terrorism to arms control, and we worked closely together in Afghanistan.  Russia chose to walk away from this partnership. The war in Ukraine is part of a long pattern of Russia using military force to achieve its political aims, as Georgians are well aware. ET: As for the status of NATO-Georgia relations and implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, what are the fundamental pillars that the Alliance will use to make future decisions? Has anything fundamentally changed? First of all, the current security environment makes NATO’s partnership with Georgia even stronger and closer. We intensified our dialogue in recent months: Foreign Minister Darchiashvili and Defence Minister Burchuladze participated in various meetings with their NATO counterparts; Prime Minister Garibashvili met with the NATO Secretary General last May; and I visited the South Caucasus last April. We also maintain a strong level of practical cooperation, with the third NATO-Georgia Joint Exercise last March, and many other ongoing activities under the umbrella of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package. Against the backdrop of Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine and of its security implications, including for the Black Sea region, Allies have agreed to step up the scope of practical assistance to Georgia. We are currently discussing what this should entail and I expect that more details will be unveiled at the NATO Summit in Madrid next week. The Georgian government has clearly stated that integration into NATO continues to be a top foreign policy and security objective for the country. This also means that, as I have said at other times, we expect Georgia to redouble its efforts in key reform areas such as the judiciary, media freedom and accountability of the security sector. On our side we stand by our commitments from the 2008 Bucharest Summit on Georgia’s aspirations towards NATO membership. Our support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity - within international recognized boundaries - remains unwavering. We also continue to recognize Georgia’s contribution to our shared security. Georgia has been one of the largest contributors to our missions in Afghanistan and played an important role in the evacuation efforts in Summer 2021. Georgia also participates in the NATO Response Force; and it has recently led a NATO-Georgia exercise, which involved around 600 troops. ET: What system or tool may be put in place to provide tailored support to Georgia in the face of heightened threats? How might the Alliance aim to continue its cooperation with Georgia at a new stage, possibly in a new format? As I mentioned before, in light of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, Allies have agreed to step up assistance to partners such as Georgia, which is one of NATO’s closest partners and has been subject to Russian hybrid threats and pressure since many years. Rather than establish new tools or systems, we should build on the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package and increase our support to Georgia by in the areas of situational awareness, secure communications, resilience and cyber. We are currently discussing, together with Georgian authorities, what these measures should entail in more detail and we expect them to be adopted at the Madrid Summit. ET: Can Georgia expect any concrete, tangible results from the next summit? What will be the main focus of the summit, and what could you say about Ukraine? We will take important decisions at the NATO Summit in Madrid next week. We will strengthen our deterrence and defence; we will agree to support Ukraine for the long haul; we will agree NATO’s next Strategic Concept, which represents the blueprint for our future adaptation in an age of increased strategic competition with authoritarian powers like China; and we will agree to support further our partners at risk with tailored measures. We will commit to working even more closely with our partners in the Asia-Pacific and other like-minded partners around the world. We will also review progress on burden-sharing, because it is clear we must continue to invest in our defence, and to invest more and better together in NATO. Only North America and Europe, working together in a strong NATO, can keep our one billion people safe in a more dangerous world. The participation by NATO partners will also be a distinctive feature of our Summit in Madrid. President Zelenskyy has been invited to address NATO leaders at the Madrid Summit and Prime Minister Garibashvili will also be invited to participate in one of the sessions, which shows the importance of our partnership. Invitations to participate have also been extended to Finland, Sweden, and the European Union, as well as to  our Asia-Pacific partners Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. ET: What are your thoughts on the prospects for Finland and Sweden joining NATO? How do you think Turkey's concerns may be addressed before the Summit? The applications by Finland and Sweden to join our Alliance are historical. As NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg said, “They send a clear message: aggression does not pay; intimidation does not work; and NATO’s door remains open.”  Finland’s and Sweden’s potential accession to NATO would make both countries safer. It would also make NATO stronger, given that both Finland and Sweden are strong democracies and resilient societies, have considerable military capabilities - including substantial reserves and advanced aircraft and naval forces, all able to work together with NATO – and are long-standing contributors to past and current NATO-led missions (in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, and in Iraq), as well as to NATO and Allied exercises. As the NATO Secretary General said: “We are now considering the next steps on Finland and Sweden’s path to join our Alliance; as we do this, we take into account the security interests of all Allies; when an Ally raises concerns, we address them seriously and we find common ground; so we are now working through Türkiye’s serious security concerns, including on terrorism. Türkiye is an important Ally, with a strategic location, playing a key role in the Black Sea, bordering Syria and Iraq, vital for our fight against ISIS. Türkiye is also the NATO Ally that has suffered more terrorist attacks, including at the hands of the PKK. We are now working together, in a constructive spirit, to find a united way forward. All Allies agree that NATO's door is open, that enlargement has been an historic success, and that we must continue to stand together as we face the greatest security crisis in a generation.” Let me add that from a security perspective, Finland and Sweden are in a better place now than they were before they applied. Many Allies have already made clear commitments to Finland and Sweden’s security; and NATO has increased our presence in the Baltic Sea, including with more exercises; for example, Finland and Sweden have been involved in several Allied exercises in recent weeks, including BALTOPS, bringing together 7,500 personnel from 14 Allies – including from Türkiye. This is a clear demonstration of NATO’s commitment to this region.