NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined the importance and strength of the partnership between NATO and Georgia during a visit to the country on Monday (25 March 2019). Stoltenberg is there to observe the NATO-Georgia exercise, training which will improve the ability of Georgian and NATO forces to work together. Speaking alongside Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Secretary General said the exercise shows how the Alliance and Georgia are stepping up their cooperation, informs the press-service of the alliance.
'Georgia is a unique partner for NATO,' said Stoltenberg in his statement at the joint press-conference. 'Last summer in Brussels all NATO leaders reconfirmed the Bucharest decision from 2008 that Georgia will become a member of NATO.'
'You are the largest non-NATO contributor to our Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. You contribute to the NATO Response Force. And the NATO-Georgia exercise this week demonstrates that we are stepping up our cooperation,' underlined Stoltenberg.
'NATO fully supports Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders,' specifically added NATO chief. 'We call on Russia to end its recognition of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to withdraw its forces. We also share your concerns about Russia’s military build-up in the Black Sea region. That is why we are strengthening the cooperation between Georgian and NATO naval forces.'