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NATO-Georgia Commission will discuss ANP

By Ernest Petrosyan
Friday, February 6
The NATO-Georgia Commission will discuss the Annual National Programme (ANP) for Georgia at Ministerial level in Krakow this month, said James Appathurai, NATO spokesman, on February 5.

NATO Defence Ministers will first gather for an informal meeting in Krakow, Poland on February 19-20. In December NATO Foreign Ministers decided to work out an Annual National Programme for Georgia (ANP), an alternative to the Membership Action Plan (MAP) Georgia has long sought, with which the alliance plans to provide “guidance and support” to Georgia to help it meet NATO standards and achieve greater integration.

A Georgian delegation consisting of Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, Defence Minister Davit Sikharulidze and State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Giorgi Baramidze visited Brussels on February 4 and met NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the 26 NATO Ambassadors as part of the work of the NATO-Georgia Commission. Issues related to breakaway Georgian regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia were raised during these meetings. James Appathurai stated on February 4 that NATO was watching “intimations in the press” that Russia plans to build bases for its military and navy in the breakaway regions “both carefully and with concern, as they seem to be in violation of Georgia's territorial integrity.”

“The Secretary General will raise this issue [Russian military bases] with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister [Sergey] Ivanov at their meeting at the Munich Security Conference this week,” the NATO spokesman added. “We cannot shy away from discussions on issues on which we fundamentally disagree.”