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NATO-Georgia Commission Stresses Georgia’s Role in Black Sea Security

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 8
(BRUSSELS)-- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia was trying to extend its control on the Black Sea region and for the Alliance providing joint efforts with Georgia to ensure the security in the area is of highest importance.

“NATO continues to benefit from Georgia’s advice on security issues relating to the Black Sea. We are engaged in increasingly close dialogue on the Black Sea region and cooperation in the region,” Stoltenberg said after the meeting.

Stoltenberg said that NATO is grateful for Georgia’s many contributions to Euro-Atlantic security, especially the service of the highly-skilled men and women of the Georgian military.

“The Alliance is fully committed to providing Georgia with the advice and tools it needs to advance toward eventual NATO membership,” Stoltenberg said, adding “Our armed forces are increasingly capable of operating together and planning is already underway for the 2019 NATO-Georgia joint military exercise,” Stoltenberg said.

He noted that Georgia and NATO were also working on other issues such as energy security, explosive ordnance disposal, cyber defense, intelligence and promoting the role of women serving in the armed forces.

Stoltenberg reiterated that NATO was concerned by Russia’s deepening relations with Georgia’s occupied breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia and called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from Georgian territory.