NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s Annual Report for 2021 says that practical cooperation with Georgia throughout the year continued to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities and bolster interoperability with the Alliance.
“This helps Georgia advance in its preparations towards eventual membership in the Alliance,” the report, published on March 31, highlights in its section about Georgia.
The document notes that progress was made with a new military capacity development initiative, military police and engineering, special operations forces and crisis management.
Besides, projects on establishing a cyber laboratory and improving maritime and airspace situational awareness were developed, according to the report.
It also highlights that the Allies and partners provided about 35 resident and visiting experts to Georgia, to support the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package.
Meanwhile, report says, through the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Trust Fund projects, the Allies funded the education and training, exercises and equipment for Georgian bodies, including its military policy.
Georgia on its part contributed to NATO’s since-concluded Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan until July 2021, the document notes.
The Secretary General’s report highlights Georgia’s role as a transit hub for more than 60 flights and 5,000 evacuees from Afghanistan.
Open Door Policy
The document stresses that NATO’s door remains open to “all European democracies that share the values of the Alliance (individual liberty, democracy and the rule of law), are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, are in a position to further the principles of the North Atlantic Treaty, and whose inclusion can contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area.”
“Every country must be free to choose its own security arrangements, including whether or not to join any treaty or alliance like NATO,” the report asserts. “Decisions on enlargement are for NATO itself and require the consensus of all its members.”
In this context, the Secretary General’s report says that Allies throughout 2021 remained committed to supporting “eventual NATO membership of Georgia and Ukraine, in line with decisions taken at the 2008 Bucharest Summit and subsequent summits.”
It adds that with the NATO 2030 agenda, the Allies have agreed on recommendations to enhance their support to Georgia, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina — the three aspirant countries.
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