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Undeterred, Georgia moves ahead with NATO cooperation plans

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 22
The implementation of the NATO’s Substantial Package to Georgia has been discussed at NATO headquarters. Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Mikheil Darchiashvili familiarized NATO member officials with the details at a NATO session. The defence minister developed the document together with NATO staff.

According to the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, NATO appreciated the plan offered by the Georgian side and expressed full readiness to engage in the timely implementation of the package. The ministry claims the both sides are unanimous in that the implementation plan will accelerate Georgia`s integration into NATO, maximally enhance national defence capabilities and will further strengthen interoperability with the NATO alliance.

The regional security environment and the current developments between Russia and the occupied region of Abkhazia were highlighted at the meeting. A special focus was made on Russia’s attempt to conclude the document on “Integration and Cooperation” with Abkhazia, which is a violation of the ceasefire agreement. The Georgian side provided the allies with complete information on the current situation and called on the international community to react.

Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania stressed that Georgia will not allow pressure from Russia to stop it from hosting a NATO training center on its territory or deter its plans to deepen ties with the West.

"This center will be jointly operated by NATO and Georgia and it's going to be an additional layer of security and defensive capability for Georgia," he said.

"It will be a Georgia-owned facility, but planning will be done jointly with NATO."

At the Wales NATO Summit, the alliance offered a substantial package to Georgia that includes defence-capacity building, training, exercises, and enhanced interoperability opportunities. NATO officials say these measures aim to strengthen Georgia’s defence and interoperability capabilities with the NATO, which will help Georgia advance in its preparations towards membership.