POLITICS
What does Georgia contribute to the NATO alliance?
11 July, 2018
The idea that Georgia should join the NATO alliance was first suggested back in the 1990s. However nobody believed it would become a reality , and everybody thought that the suggestion was somewhat fanciful – negotiations about joining the alliance were considered a dream.

But today NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg clearly suggests that Georgia will sooner or later join the alliance and that it will be beneficial for both sides.

The 2018 NATO summit commences today in Brussels, Belgium and
will last for two days. Tomorrow, members of the alliance will discuss topics concerning Georgia and Ukraine and will make statements about further and deeper cooperation. The president of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili will also meet NATO’ Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. A joint press conference is planned after the meeting.
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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo courtesy: nato.int

It was yesterday, at an initial press conference, that Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed that progress had been made by Georgia in negotiating access to the alliance. Even though it is hard to give a precise date, NATO’s doors are open. The fact that Montenegro has become a member and that Macedonia is in the process of the same negotiations is a clear example of that.

Stoltenberg thanked Georgia for its past contribution to NATO. And yes, this small country has contributed a lot.
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Minister of Defense of Georgia - Levan Izoria. Photo courtesy: mod.gov.ge

Georgia joined ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) in August of 2004. Since then, Georgian troops have served in Afghanistan on a rotation basis. More than 12000 Georgian soldiers have served in Afghanistan. From 2015, Georgia has participated in the Resolute Support Mission or RSM which sends troops there regularly. Georgia has also participated in other international missions as well, such as Kosovo. Georgian troops joined NATO forces in 1999 and served there till 2008.

Apart from international missions, the foundation of a NATO/Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre was a great step forward. The Centre was opened in August of 2015. “With the inauguration of the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre, our cooperation will grow deeper. Georgian forces will grow more interoperable with NATO. NATO will be more present, in Georgia, and we will be more visible in Georgia. And Georgia’s commitment to international peace and security will grow even more” – said Jens Stoltenberg at the opening ceremony of the Centre.
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Jens Stoltenberg at the opening ceremony of NATO/Georgia Joint Joint Training and Evaluation Centre in 2015. Photo courtesy: mod.gov.ge

The Centre’s HQ is located in the Krtsanisi Training Area and a range of other training facilities throughout the country are being used for conducting multinational training and exercises.

Participation in international missions has its consequences as well. 32 Georgian soldiers died in Afghanistan alone, hundreds were also wounded and injured.
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Georgian soldiers. Photo courtesy: mod.gov.ge

First photo courtesy: 1tv.ge

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