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NATO approves new package of support for Georgia and Ukraine

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, April 3
On April 2nd, NATO foreign ministers endorsed a new package of assistance to Georgia and Ukraine, which should strengthen the defense capability of these countries and compatibility with the NATO alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced this after completing a ministerial conference, held in video-conference format for the first time in the Alliance.

Assistance, according to Stoltenberg, includes exercises in the strategically important Black Sea region, as well as more educational and practical training within existing programs.

“We have decided to continue strengthening Georgia and Ukraine our partnership, including the Black Sea in the strategically important region of the trainings, the more joint activities of cyber threats against and, air space in the replacements, radar data exchange, to the sky to make everyone safe,” said NATO Secretary-General, at the press conference.

It is noteworthy that 5 years ago Georgia received a ‘substantial package’ at the NATO Wales Summit, which, along with the annual National Program and the NATO-Georgia Commission, are practical tools for preparing the country to join the Alliance.

One of the key issues on NATO's April 2 agenda was to address the challenges facing the Alliance in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, although the NATO Foreign Ministerial was held in a concentrated, remote format amid the worldwide spread of COVID-19, the issue of Georgia was still high on the Alliance's agenda.

Foreign ministry says that the measures taken at yesterday’s ministerial will further enhance Georgia's compliance with NATO standards, enhance defense capabilities and sustainability, and bring Georgia closer to the ultimate goal of NATO membership.

“It is important that in such a difficult situation for NATO and the world at large, the Alliance remains committed to Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration course and, furthermore, through concrete solutions, deepens cooperation formats.” read the MFA statement.

Aforementioned was once again reiterated in an online interview with the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison.

“NATO recently welcomed North Macedonia as its 30th member. What does this enlargement mean for aspirant countries like Georgia, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina?”- we asked her on April 1st at the Brussels Hub briefing. Ambassador Hutchison answered that they are committed to all of those countries to become the future members of NATO.

“And we have been to Georgia, we have been to Ukraine. We want their reforms to come forward so that they can prevail over the Russian misinformation and actual border-enforcing of parts of their countries – Georgia and Ukraine,” she said, emphasizing that Russia must let those countries have their sovereign rule, their sovereign territory, their boundaries. The ambassador added about their intention to help Georgia and Ukraine continue to respond to the Russian aggression that has taken over parts of these countries - “and we are not going to let down on those efforts.”

Hutchinson noted that North Macedonia’s accession shows that the door is open and NATO is helping its partners - Georgia and Ukraine. She also spoke of the aforementioned package, which was proved at the foreign ministerial.