Georgia and NATO discuss cooperation and security in Vilnius meeting

December 20, 2023: The Georgian Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili met with Javier Kolomina, the Special Representative of NATO Secretary General in Caucasus and Central Asia, in Vilnius, Lithuania. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the NATO conference that focused on security guarantees for Ukraine.

The two officials discussed the priority issues of NATO-Georgian political and practical cooperation and praised the dynamic and meaningful agenda of the current year. They also emphasized the importance of the EU’s decision to grant Georgia visa-free travel, which they said would facilitate the country’s NATO accession process.

The meeting also addressed the security environment in the region, and Kolomina reaffirmed the Alliance’s unwavering support for Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity. He expressed concern over the continued Russian occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and called for the full implementation of the 2008 ceasefire agreement. 

He also informed Doriashvili about the preparations for the upcoming NATO summit in Washington in 2024, where Georgia’s progress towards membership will be reviewed. 

Darchiashvili thanked Kolomina for his contribution to the advancement of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process and reiterated Georgia’s commitment to the reforms and standards required by NATO. He also highlighted Georgia’s active participation in NATO-led missions and exercises and its contribution to regional and global security.

Georgia has been aspiring to join NATO since 2008, when the Alliance declared that Georgia would become a member, provided it meets all necessary requirements. 

Georgia has been one of the closest partners of NATO and has received a Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) in 2014 to enhance its defence capabilities and interoperability with NATO forces. 

However, Georgia’s membership prospects have been hampered by the unresolved conflicts with Russia over its breakaway regions and the lack of consensus among NATO members over the enlargement policy.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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