Parliament Committee approves Coast Guard participation in NATO Sea Guardian operation

NATO launched OSG in 2016 to maintain an accurate picture of the maritime environment and contribute to the safety and security in the region. Photo: NATO, 26 Jun 2023 - 18:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Parliament's Defence and Security Committee on Monday ratified a document submitted by the country’s Interior Ministry on the participation of its Coast Guard Department professionals in NATO’s Sea Guardian maritime security operation. 

After the final approval of a related technical document at the plenary session, the professionals will be stationed on Greek ships for participation in the operations launched in 2016 to ensure maritime security capacity-building, support to situational awareness and maritime counter-terrorism in the Mediterranean, the Parliament press office said.

An agreement signed earlier between the Interior Ministry and the Greek National Defence Ministry involved the presence of Georgian officers on the ships for the operation. 

Irakli Beraia, the Chair of the Defence and Security Committee of the Georgian Parliament, on Monday welcomed the agreement as “important”, and said it would ensure the Coast Guard’s “further alignment” with NATO standards. 

He added Georgia was a “reliable ally with high responsibility” that continued its “close cooperation” with the alliance and participation in its security operations. 

In NATO’s most recent deployment for the operation, a Sea Guardian Task Group completed its third focused maritime patrols of the year in May, with the involvement of Italian and Croatian vessels, as well as air support from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Turkey.