NATO continues supporting Georgia, – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated at a press conference on Monday, ahead of the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Washington on April 3-4 2019.
NATO Concerned by Russia’s Aggressive Activity in Georgia
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, April 3
“NATO is also concerned by Russia’s pattern of aggressive behavior. Including its ongoing actions against Ukraine, and the seizure of Ukrainian sailors and ships near the Sea of Azov.
“NATO has already stepped up its presence in the Black Sea. And we continue to work closely with our partners in the region. Just last week, I spectated this cooperation myself at the 2019 NATO-Georgia exercise. Today, ships from one of NATO’s naval groups are in Ukraine and Georgia,” Stoltenberg said.
He claimed that these ships will take part in exercise Sea Shield in the Black Sea.
“I expect Ministers this week will agree on new measures to improve our situational awareness in the region and to step up NATO’s support for both Georgia and Ukraine. In areas such as training of maritime forces and coast guards, port visits and exercises, and sharing of information”, Stoltenberg stated.
NATO Secretary-General spoke about the events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Alliance.
NATO Foreign Ministers will meet in Washington to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Alliance.
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani is in the US.
During his visit to Georgia last month Stoltenberg stated that joint NATO-Georgia joint exercises will strengthen the country defense capabilities and help Georgia integrate into the alliance.
Responding to a question on whether the occupied territories of Georgia Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) could work as obstacles for the country’s NATO integration, Stoltenberg said that Georgia should continue its democratic reforms.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said that the occupied regions “must not become obstacles” for Georgia’s NATO membership.