The Minister for the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, James Heappey, met today with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze in Tbilisi.
In the meeting with the Georgian Prime Minister, the officials discussed bilateral defense relations, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and its accompanying security challenges in Eastern Europe.
The sides also touched upon the role of the Black sea in ensuring Euroatlantic security, the Georgia Prime Minister’s press service said.
The war in Ukraine also loomed large in Minister Heappey’s conversation with Georgian colleague Juansher Burchuladze as well, with the two officials reiterating their countries’ support for Ukraine.
The officials also discussed hybrid threats and solutions, disinformation countermeasures, and bilateral relations. They highlighted the Wardrop Strategic Dialogue as one of the key platforms for deepening defense ties, according to the Georgian Ministry’s press release.
The sides talked about using the practical mechanisms of NATO-Georgia cooperation to increase Georgia’s interoperability with the Alliance.
After the meeting, Minister Burchuladze stressed that the high-level visit from the UK demonstrated “the importance of our relations and Georgia’s support for the West and NATO.”
“I am here today in Georgia because very nearby, in Ukraine, there has been an extraordinary challenge to the sovereignty of a free country,” the UK official said on his part. “I think all of us, who believe in democracy and freedom have a duty to stand together to challenge this appalling behavior by Russia.”
Minister Heappey further stressed the need to “make sure that this whole region is somewhere, where freedom and sovereignty are respected and behavior like Russia’s is widely condemned.”