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President of Estonia Prior to NATO Summit: ‘Georgia Deserves More than Words’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, June 25
The Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid says that Georgia can be proud of its achievements and that the country deserves more than just kind and encouraging words.

“Georgia can be proud of its achievements – from reforms at home (at the time when parts of your country are occupied) to progress made at the European and Euro-Atlantic track. I firmly believe that Georgia deserves more than just kind and encouraging words,” the Estonian president told his Georgian counterpart Giorgi Margvelashvili in Tallinn last week.

Estonia has vowed "very strong” support to Georgia at the upcoming NATO summit in July this year.

Margvelashvili thanked the Estonian leadership for their continued support to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and territorial integrity.

The most recent report of the US Heritage Foundation reads that Georgia’s NATO membership is in the interests of the United States and Europe.

The piece by Luke Coffey presents facts and figures of the occupation of Georgia's Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions by the Russian military, explaining the "creeping occupation" and borderisation phenomena to readers.

It also outlines security challenges of the Black Sea region and the US-Georgian bilateral projects and programs for upgrading and developing the Georgian armed forces, kicked off in the 1990s and accelerated since the early 2000s.

“So far, the US -Georgian relationship has thrived under the Trump Administration. Vice President Mike Pence made an early visit to Georgia in the summer of 2017, which was viewed as a major success. Crucially, he referred to the Russian military presence in the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia as an 'occupation'," Coffey says.

Coffey says that in 2008, NATO promised Georgia eventual membership. He stresses that the NATO Summit in Brussels in July 2018 is an important opportunity for NATO to reaffirm this commitment.