US President Donald Trump’s Security Advisor John Bolton stated in Tbilisi today that Georgia is of the highest strategic importance for the US.
He said that is why the US quickly responded to Russian aggression in Georgia shortly after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.
A range of sanctions have been imposed against Russia and part of them came after the Russia-Georgia war,” Bolton said, in response to a journalist’s question on how the US has reacted to system illegal Russian actions in Georgia.
Responding to a question about corruption, Bolton stated that before coming to Georgia he met with representatives of the US Chamber of Trade and asked them questions about the situation in Georgia in terms of corruption.
I just met with good friend of #Georgia @AmbJohnBolton. We are grateful for his steadfast support. The #Georgia-#US relationship is at an all-time high and we are further exploring opportunities to strengthen existing #Synergy.— Mamuka Bakhtadze (@BakhtadzeMamuka) October 26, 2018
I was told that there is a certain level of corruption in Georgia, but this level is the same as in many other developed countries, in the US among them,” Bolton said.
Bakhtadze further stated that the situation in the Georgian occupied regions and possibilities for a Georgia-US free trade regime were the key issues discussed at his meeting with Bolton.
We touched upon the most painful issue for Georgia, the catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Georgian occupied regions, as well as the peace initiatives [offered by the central Georgian government] which are meant to help us, the Georgian government, respond to existing security challenges.
Bakhtadze called Bolton a “true friend of Georgia,” who is taking steps to further enhance Georgia-US strategic ties.
Bolton has also met with Georgian Defence Minister Levan Izoria, and the officials discussed the 2016-2019 agreement between the Georgian Defence Ministry and the US Defence Department.
Steps included in the document are being implemented successfully,” the Georgian Defence Ministry said.
Bolton praised Georgia’s contribution to international peace and security and reaffirmed US support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Earlier today Bolton met with the Georgian Interior Minister and the head of the State Security Service.
Bolton is scheduled to leave Georgia tomorrow.