The progress of Georgia as a NATO aspirant nation is expected to be duly recognized on the NATO Summit 2018
By Khatia Kardava and Tea Mariamidze
Friday, February 2
On January 31, Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze participated in the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission held at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels where the implementation of the Annual National Programme 2017 was evaluated.
The country’s implementation of the Annual National Program and reforms in the field of democracy, economics and security were positively evaluated at the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting.
“Georgia is really distinguished in the region as an important contributor to security” , Janelidze said after the meeting.
According to him, the progress of Georgia as a NATO aspirant nation is expected to be duly recognized by participants of the NATO Summit 2018 which will be held on July 1 and 12, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium .
"Progress, which was mentioned today, is the basis for a successful summit in 2018. I.e. Georgia's success at the 2018 Summit and we expect that this progress will be outlined. At the Warsaw Summit, it has been clearly stated that Georgia has all practical tools needed for our membership and we use all these practical instruments. " - said Mikheil Janelidze.
Discussions also focused on the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, security climate and the Russian Federation’s destructive actions in Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. The Alliance Member States expressed their commitment to continue their political support, providing assistance to Georgia; the practical support will include ensuring the effective implementation of the projects within the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package that are aimed at enhancing Georgia’s defense capacities and interoperability with NATO .
Prior to the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission, Mikheil Janelidze held a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The sides positively assessed Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process, including the progress Georgia has made in the implementation of the Annual National Programme 2017, as well as the reforms carried out in the areas of democracy and defence.
Georgian Minister thanked Stoltenberg for his support and expressed hope that the current positive dynamics of NATO-Georgia cooperation will continue to be active in the future as well.
The NATO Secretary General was updated on the situation and the latest developments in Georgia’s occupied regions. Stoltenberg reaffirmed his strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Special attention was paid to Georgia’s positive role in the region and to Georgia’s contribution towards the strengthening of Euro-Atlantic security.
Security issues of the Black Sea region were also discussed. It was noted that Georgia is ready to be actively involved in the Alliance's efforts to strengthen the security of the Black Sea region.
Euro-Atlantic integration in national politics
The purpose of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration is to protect country’s security and sovereignty and development of it, which ensures the safety and well-being of citizens.
Due to Russia’s factor, Georgian Integration in NATO is seen as the only military guarantee against the expansionist Russia.
NATO-Georgia relations date back to 1992, when Georgia joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (in 1997 succeeded the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council). The EAPC represents the main political forum for the partner countries.
Cooperation deepened after Georgia joined the Partnership for Peace programme in 1994. The PfP programme allows partners to build up an individual relationship with NATO, defining priority areas of cooperation.
In 1996, Georgia elaborated the first NATO-Georgia Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (previously called the Individual Partnership Programme) which represents an extensive menu of activities tailored to assist country’s specific interests and needs.
In 2004 Georgia became the first country to elaborate an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO.
Georgia aims at NATO membership. The country is actively contributing to NATO-led operations and cooperates with the Alliance member and other partner countries in many other areas. At the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, the alliance member states and heads of governments agreed that Georgia would join NATO. The above-mentioned decision was subsequently confirmed at the next NATO Summits in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 .
In September 2008, the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) was established. The NGC provides a framework for cooperation between NATO and Georgia and serves as a forum for both political and practical cooperation to support Georgia in the process of obtaining NATO membership.
In December 2011, at the NATO Foreign Ministerial Allies referred to Georgia as to a NATO aspirant country.