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Georgia continues its contribution to NATO

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 23
“Russia continues its aggression against sovereign nations by the use of military force,” explained General Philip Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe and Commander of U.S. European Command, after a meeting with the Defense Minister of Georgia on October 22.

“The fact that Russia continues its aggression against sovereign nations is not simple for Europe.” According to him, in a few weeks the NATO foreign ministers will hold a meeting and will discuss NATO’s course of action. Later at the meeting of defense ministers, they will discuss the look and shape of the Quick Reaction Force.

“28 countries are actively cooperating in the maintenance of the peace process. We are fully aware of the responsibility that lies with our friends and we will continue to work in this regard. Georgia is important for us,” the general said.

The general promised that NATO would do its best in order to further develop the armed forces of Georgia and to ensure closer cooperation between NATO and Georgia, as well as joint involvement in various missions.

“Today’s problems are global and reaction to these problems should be global. I am sure it is possible to deal with them on the basis of cooperation. Partnership and joint work are the main leitmotif of NATO,” said Philip Breedlove.

Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania stated that Georgia will be a major contributor to the ISAF mission in 2015 as well.

“Together with NATO, Georgia will be one of the key contributors to the Afghan security mission,” Alasania said.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili also met with the NATO official.

According to the government’s administration, one of the main topics of the meeting was the implementation of the substantive package, which was granted to Georgia at the NATO Summit in Wales this past September.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said that Georgia and Ukraine will not have NATO defense until they take the necessary steps for integration with the organization, but the United States can have closer military cooperation with these countries and for that purpose the Ukraine Freedom Support Act was adopted, which admits Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia as major non-NATO allies.

“Ukraine and Georgia are going through a critical time. Georgia is very carefully observing what is happening in Ukraine. Many of us believe that it is important to send a clear message to countries such as Ukraine and Georgia about our readiness for long-term military cooperation, even outside the NATO formal structures. NATO has its own process which should be necessarily passed. I hope that in the near future Georgia can achieve NATO membership or at least can get the Action Plan (MAP). It is clear that until we start talking about NATO membership, Ukraine must cope with the current crisis,” said Murphy.