Baltic delegation meet Georgian soldiers during NATO week
By Salome Modebadze
Friday, October 22A delegation of Ambassadors from Lithuania Linas Linkevicius, Latvia Janis Eichmanis, Estonia Yuri Luik and the Deputy Ambassador of US to NATO John Heffern along with their Georgian colleagues introduced the project of the Partnership for Peace Foundation during NATO week in Georgia on October 21. The 15-month project, worth EURO 2 800 000, is aimed at assisting Georgia in the medical rehabilitation process for people affected by war. It will be oriented specifically on helping the Georgian military-engineering battalion to deal with the remaining explosives from the war on Georgian territory.
Meeting the Georgian soldiers fighting against the simulated natural disasters at the training base of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, the special guests had an opportunity to see their exercises for participating in international missions after they would gain the necessary skills, knowledge and experience from the trainings.
The foreign guests admitted the necessity of the acclimatization of Georgian soldiers to fighting on the ground, stressing the importance of this long-term process. Linas Linkevicius, Ambassador of Lithuania to NATO shared his views to the Georgian analysts and NGOs and discussed the challenges Georgia is facing nowadays. “I can’t personally see any alternative to the Georgian-Russian cooperation but dialogue. In my opinion this would be the best solution to the problems Georgia is facing nowadays,” the Ambassador said stressing how much progress Georgia is making for entering NATO despite the various problems the country is facing nowadays.
The representatives of the Baltic countries in NATO expressed their readiness to promote Georgia’s integration to NATO at the upcoming Lisbon Summit. Stressing that the NATO member countries would keep their promise given to Georgia at the Bucharest Summit, David Towndraw from the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency claimed that Georgia would by all means receive NATO membership. “The Lisbon Summit is an important event for us especially because we, the NATO member countries, will introduce a new strategy outlining the 21st century demands for NATO,” Towndraw told the Georgian media.
“The visits of the NATO leadership to Georgia have been the sign how the Georgian-NATO cooperation has been strengthening for the last periods,” The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Nalbandov told the media. Georgian analyst Andro Barnov highlighted the importance of the NATO Delegation visit to Georgia before the Lisbon Summit. “NATO’s position towards Georgia is a very sensitive issue. The visit of the high rank representatives has been the proof to the fact that the Georgia’s issue will be relevantly discussed at the Lisbon Summit,” the analyst told the media. According to Rezo Adamia, an analyst and former Ambassador of Georgia to the UN, the meeting is aimed at expressing the readiness of the alliance for integrating Georgia to NATO by sharing the plans of the Ambassadors for the Lisbon Summit.