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US Senate approves the National Defense Authorization Act 2020, which speaks highly of Georgia

By Tsotne Pataraia
Thursday, December 19
The U.S. Senate has approved the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill was supported by 88 senators, 8 opposed. The US National Defense Authorization Act sets out the priorities of the US Department of Defense budget.

The US defense budget for 2020 is $ 738 billion. $ 658 billion will be spent on national security programs by the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy. $ 71.5 billion will be allocated to operations abroad.

The document also speaks highly of Georgia. The authors and supporters of it consider Georgia as a valuable friend of the United States:

“Georgia is a valued friend of the United States and has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to advancing the mutual interests of both countries, including the deployment of Georgian forces as part of the former International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the current Resolute Support Mission led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Afghanistan and the Multi-National Force in Iraq,” reads the statement.

The document also noted that Georgia’s involvement in the Partnership for Peace which helps to tighten practical bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries and NATO has huge importance to relations with the US and NATO, as well as to create a more peaceful environment in the region:

“The European Deterrence Initiative builds the partnership capacity of Georgia so it can work more closely with the United States and NATO, as well as provide for its own defense. In addition to the European Deterrence Initiative, Georgia’s participation in the NATO initiative Partnership for Peace is paramount to interoperability with the United States and NATO and establishing a more peaceful environment in the region. Despite the losses suffered, as a NATO partner, Georgia is committed to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan with the fourth-largest contingent on the ground,” reads the document.

The Senate also fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders.

The document calls for sanctions against Russia over the North Stream 2 project and bans military cooperation with Russia. There are also sanctions imposed on Turkey for the purchase of " Russian missile defense systems. The bill also envisages taking measures against threats coming from China.

The US National Defense Authorization Act was approved by Congress on December 11. The law will come into force after it is signed by US President Donald Trump. Trump has already said he will sign the law when the document comes to his desk.