NATO Secretary General: ‘Georgia is a critical partner’

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg presents his annual report for 2018 during a press conference at NATO headquarters. Photo: NATO, 14 Mar 2019 - 23:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in his annual report that “Georgia is a critical partner for the Alliance” and that the allies “have consistently reaffirmed their commitment to Georgia’s eventual membership”.

In his annual report for 2018 which was released today, Stoltenberg said “Georgia is also a significant contributor to NATO’s operations and missions”.

He also said that the Alliance sees “the importance of increased presence of NATO in Georgia, with the training and evaluation centre, with the exercises that will take place later on this month”.

I’m looking forward to visit Georgia in connection with the exercise. But Georgia still has work to do when it comes to reforms, rule of law and modernising its defence institutions”, Stoltenberg said.

The NATO Secretary General also reiterated that “Georgia is a highly valued partner and we continue to provide support to Georgia on its Euro-Atlantic integration”.

Speaking to the press today, Stoltenberg said that "Georgia is making progress" and that it is "coming closer to NATO". Photo: NATO

Stoltenberg did not touch on the specifics of the recent death of a Georgian citizen in occupied Abkhazia, but he said "Russia is violating the integrity of Georgia, partly by recognising the so-called Republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but also by supporting the constant movement of the border".

We are also seeing the different aggressive actions against Georgia and Georgian citizens. So, for us this is just yet another example of why NATO provides significant support to Georgia”, the NATO Secretary General said.

Stressing that "NATO provides strong support" to Georgia, its territorial integrity and sovereignty, Jens Stoltenberg stressed that this of course "includes also the right for Georgia to protect all Georgian citizens".

Below you can watch Jens Stoltenberg's press conference at the launch of his annual report: