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The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 6
Western and Georgian forces responsible for Ahmed Chatayev – Chechen leader

“If Ahmed Chatayev’s link with the Istanbul attack is confirmed, then Western and Georgian special forces can bear the blame,” Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov posted on Instagram.

“Who is Chatayev? An Austrian citizen who also has Georgian passport. He personally knows Saakashvili. The special services of Belgium, Sweden, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey had relations with Chatayev for 13 years. He left Russia as an ordinary criminal but he turned into a terrorist in Austria, Georgia and Turkey,” he claimed.

As reported by media, the Istanbul terror attack was organized by Ahmed Chatayev, an ethnic Chechen. (IPN)

Stoltenberg: ‘Supporting Georgia is Important for NATO’

At the summit in Warsaw later this week, NATO claims it will demonstrate its support for its partners in the east - including Georgia - to boost its defence capacity and resilience “to resist outside pressure and to advance reforms,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a news conference on Monday.

A NATO-Georgia Commission at the foreign ministerial level will be held on the sideline of the summit in Warsaw on July 8-9. The Georgian delegation will be led by President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who will participate in a meeting of leaders of NATO members and partner countries contributing to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. The Georgian Defence Minister will participate in a meeting of NATO defence ministers with their counterparts from 25 partner countries, which cooperate with the Alliance on interoperability.

“One of the reasons why we are stepping up our support and providing support to Georgia… is to help Georgia increase its resilience and its capacity to resist outside pressure,” Stoltenberg said at a news conference on July 4.

“Of course, it is important for NATO to support Georgia, because Georgia has seen lot of pressure from outside and we will continue to help them resist that pressure,” he said.

Georgian Defence Minister Tina Khidasheli says that Tbilisi’s goal is to receive more practical tools to help the country increase its self-defence capabilities.

Speaking at a news conference on June 27 in Tbilisi, Khidasheli said that one of the areas on which Georgia has worked actively over the past year was to make Georgia a “full-fledged participant” of NATO’s Black Sea “security concept”.

“Georgia is fully engaged in ongoing discussions over this concept,” she said, adding that Georgia will be part of the any such concept if agreed at the summit in Warsaw. “There is no Black Sea security without Georgia’s participation.

“Our demand is simple: if one of the component of this security concept is patrols in the Black Sea, Georgia should be part of those [patrol] routes – [NATO] vessels should make port calls in Georgia with the same frequency as they make it in Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish ports,” Khidasheli said.

She said that Tbilisi has also been pushing for Black Sea maritime security and intelligence data sharing.

“The Black Sea security picture which NATO and its members are looking at should also be fully accessible for Georgia; likewise Georgia’s data should be fully accessible for NATO members,” Khidasheli said.

“The goal is clear-cut and simple – Georgia should be part of any activity that will be planned by NATO in the Black Sea,” Khidasheli said on June 27. “We’ve been working on this very actively for past year and I am confident that verbal agreements that we already have will also be reflected in documents in Warsaw.”

Responding to a question on Black Sea security, which was not asked specifically in Georgia’s context, the NATO Secretary General said at the news conference on July 4, that the Alliance will continue discussions about it beyond the Warsaw summit.

“One of the areas where I see a need for continued adaptation is when it comes to our presence in the Black Sea region. So that will certainly be on our agenda also after Warsaw [summit],” Stoltenberg said.

Although NATO foreign ministers said in December that Georgia has “all the practical tools to prepare for eventual membership”, they also reaffirmed that before joining the Alliance the country should go through a Membership Action Plan (MAP) phase, which Georgia has been denied since 2008. Granting Georgia MAP at the Warsaw summit is not expected.

Georgian officials say that a decision on MAP will be made when there is a consensus on it within the alliance; however, this decision will purely be political and has little and less to do with the competence of Georgia's military forces. (

Territorial seizures in Georgia and Ukraine mean Russia is trying to reconstruct Soviet empire – UK report

“Russia has become an increasingly active participant in conventional as well as multi-dimensional warfare. Russian cyber-attacks across Europe and territorial seizures in Georgia and Ukraine may not be isolated actions, but symptomatic of an ambition to stabilise domestic support, to reconstitute at least some of the former Soviet empire and to expand and restore Moscow’s global influence,' reads the report published by the Defence Committee of the UK Parliament.

“Russia views NATO expansion not as a free choice by sovereign states but as a policy of ‘encirclement’ by the West. The 2015 Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation stated that a main external military risk was a "build-up of the power potential of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)" and the military infrastructure of NATO member states moving nearer to the borders of the Russian Federation,” the report reads.

“The 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit had raised the possibility of future NATO membership of Georgia and Ukraine.Although this did not materialise, it has been used as a key factor to justify the expansion of the Russian military,” the report says.

According to the report, Russian cyber-attacks across Europe and territorial seizures in Georgia and Ukraine may not be isolated actions, but symptomatic of an ambition to stabilise domestic support, to reconstitute at least some of the former Soviet empire and to expand and restore Moscow’s global influence.

“The UK and NATO must employ robust and firm responses,” the report reads. (IPN)