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Defence Minister Delivered Speech at Heritage Foundation Conference

Friday, December 11
The Minister of Defence of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli attended a conference organized by the Heritage Foundation during her visit to the United States of America. Participants of the forum entitled “The Silk Road Renewed: From the Heart of Eurasia to the Heart of Europe. The 21st Century Transportation and Energy Outlook” discussed energy security issues and security concerns related to the New Silk Road. In her address, Tinatin Khidasheli highlighted the importance of Georgia as an energy corridor and underlined the fact that the most important precondition for the successful implementation of energy projects is a stable and secure environment. According to the Georgian Defence Minister, it is crucial to diversify energy supply routes to energy dependent countries to evade the threat of using energy resources as a political weapon.

Tinatin Khidasheli talked about the significance of the conference. “The main objective of this conference is to participate in the development of strategy for energy security and considering the new realities of regional politics. The attendees are mainly those experts who are working on this topic in the U.S. From our side, it was very important to show that there is no successful energy security and energy projects without taking the effective measures for the security and peace in the region. Democratic, secure and peaceful Eurasian continent is one of the most important guarantees for the success of any energy project. It is necessary to put more efforts in both directions, pay more attention and plan efficient actions in order to have a successful, diversified and energy-secure Europe that won’t be dependent on only one supplier and satisfy the ambitions of that same supplier,” Tinatin Khidasheli said.

According to S. Frederick Starr, the Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, the Defence Minister’s speech was very interesting and realistic: “Georgia’s Minister of Defence has just given an extremely sober, extremely realistic and extremely important address. Namely, all the talks about transport, about energy, about moving goods, about new roads, new pipelines is absolutely bla-bla-bla without security. She was blunt, she was direct. She said what had to be said and she said this without compromise. I respect that very much.”