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Stoltenberg: We continue Working to Prepare Georgia for NATO Membership

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 6
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated that working process will be continued to prepare Georgia for the membership of the alliance.

The statement was followed after NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting of NATO allies with the representatives of Georgia and Ukraine on Tuesday.

"Russia’s pattern of disrespect for the borders of its neighbors includes a military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia."

“Russia must end its recognition of both regions. And withdraw its forces from these regions of Georgia. In response to Russia’s aggressive actions, NATO has substantially increased its presence in the Black Sea region over the past few years. At sea, in the air and on the ground,” Stoltenberg said.

He stated that allies greatly value “unique partnerships” with Georgia and Ukraine.

“Each of them contributes to our shared security in different ways, and NATO remains committed to strengthening our ties with both countries”, Stoltenberg said.

“We work with Georgia to modernize their armed forces, build their different military capabilities – we have a training and evaluation center in Tbilisi. But, we have also worked with Georgia on strengthening their coastguard. So, NATO is also working with Georgia in strengthening their naval capabilities,” Stoltenberg said.

He stated that NATO works with the naval capabilities of both Ukraine and Georgia, showing that this practical cooperation has a value for the partners but also for NATO because “when our neighbors are more stable, we are more secure.”

The same day the North Atlantic Council (NAC), a principal political decision-making body of NATO, held a meeting with Georgian and Ukrainian foreign ministers.

Regional security issues, along with Russia’s recent activities against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov, were key issues on the agenda of the meeting, as reported by Georgian Foreign Ministry.

“The US and NATO Allies strongly support the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and NATO aspirations of Georgia and Ukraine, - the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo twitted after the meeting.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani claimed that Georgia only received a positive assessment regarding its reforms during the meeting.