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Lviv Security Forum experts call on NATO to provide Georgia and Ukraine with MAP

By Khatia Bzhalava
Tuesday, December 8
According to the Ukrainian media, Experts of this year’s Lviv Security Forum (held on November 9-14, 2020) demanded Georgia and Ukraine to be provided with a realistic NATO Membership Action Plan as soon as possible. It is noted in a resolution of the forum that the experts call on NATO, the United States, the European Union, and the Black Sea countries to unite forces and develop a clear strategy to counter Russian aggression in the Black Sea. The resolution is supported by 17 experts.

According to the resolution, the experts highlighted the importance of the Black Sea for Transatlantic security and acknowledged Russia’s aggressive foreign policy as the main threat to the region’s Safety and prosperity. As the resolution notes, increase of Russian military force in the region is considered as a threat, namely” an increase in the military presence in the South Caucasus due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the transformation of the Black Sea into a launchpad for Russian military operations in the Middle East.”

The document reads that experts have expressed their concerns over the lack of NATO’s clear strategy in the region, which according to them, creates a vacuum that is easily filled by Russia.

According to the resolution, the experts suggest specific steps to improve security in the Black sea region. In particular, “banning the entry of ships from the occupied Crimea to all European ports and ensuring a permanent presence of German and American ships in the Black Sea, also in the Ukrainian ports,” the document reads that it is important to organize a training base in the region to perform joint regular exercises of NATO and Black Sea countries.

“Experts also consider efforts to counter hybrid threats important, including reviewing ownership of critical infrastructure along the coast and reducing Russia’s political influence in the region,” read the statement. The international expert community of the Lviv Security Forum, calls on NATO to provide Ukraine and Georgia with clear and implementable steps to ensure their admission to NATO, in accordance with the decision taken at the Bucharest Summit in 2008. The community also calls on leaders of the Black Sea countries, NATO, the European Union, and the United States to ensure finalisation of Anaklia deep-water port in Georgia “as a driving factor for linking the Black and the Caspian seas, the incorporation of the region into greater international trading routes, and providing impetus for the development of other Ukrainian, Romanian, Turkish and Bulgarian ports on the Black Sea.”