Georgia becomes first non-NATO member to join Energy Security Centre of Excellence

Georgian solders participating in the ISAF mission were awarded with special certificates and coins for carrying out a successful mission at Afghanistan., 17 Oct 2014 - 14:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is marking its place in history as the first non-member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to join the group’s Energy Security Centre of Excellence (ENSEC COE) as a Contributing Partner Nation.

The arrangement was co-signed at the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence in Vilnius, Lithuania yesterday by Georgia’s Economic and Sustainable Development Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, and representatives of NATO ENSEC COE member counties.

On the ENSEC COE website, it welcomed Georgia’s ascension to the group.

"On October 16, 2014, the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence will be celebrating the first enlargement – Georgia’s joining to the Centre as a Contributing Partner Nation.”

When the agreement comes into force, trainings and research implemented by the ENSEC COE will take place at Delta, Georgia’s State Military Scientific-Technical Centre. Furthermore, Delta will have a permanent representative in the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence.

The NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence was established on July 10, 2012. Three months later the centre was awarded the status of an ‘international military organisation’ by NATO.

ENSECCOE was officially inaugurated by the NATO Secretary General and the Lithuanian President on September 6, 2013. Lithuania was the leader nation while Estonia, Italy, France, Latvia and Turkey were sponsoring nations of the centre.

By the end of 2014, is expected the United Kingdom will complete the joining process as a sponsoring nation to NATO ENSEC COE.

On another note, with the framework of Kvirikashvili’s visit to Lithuania, he met with Lithuania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Linkevicius.

After a special welcoming ceremony, the counterparts discussed issues relating to Georgia’s implementation of the EU-Association Agreement (AA), as well as cooperation between the countries in the fields of transport, tourism and agriculture.

Linkevicius highlighted that energy safety was a priority for the Baltic States. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania thanked Georgia for cooperating in the field of international energy.

He positively assessed Georgia’s recently implemented reforms in terms of European integration and emphasized that Georgia was bound to become full-fledged member of NATO.