Interior Minister hails approval of NATO Operational Partner status for Georgian Border Police as “key achievement” of 2022

Georgian Border Police units received the NATO operational partner status in the Sea Guardian Operation last year. Photo: Border Police press office, 21 Feb 2023 - 17:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri on Tuesday told the Parliament the granting of the NATO Operational Partner status to the country’s Border Police units had been a “major achievement” of the past year.

In his address for briefing MPs on his office’s work over 2022, Gomelauri noted the units had received the status for the bloc’s Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean, launched in 2016 to tackle terrorism threats and irregular migration.

Gomelauri also said the “successful accomplishment” of the four-stage evaluation of the Georgian professionals had marked a “new phase of practical cooperation” between the alliance’s Allied Maritime Command and Georgia’s Coast Guard, which operates under the Border Police structure.

NATO describes Sea Guardian as a “flexible operation that can potentially cover the full range of the alliance’s maritime security operation tasks”.

It is conducted in the Mediterranean and covering maritime security capacity-building, support to maritime situational awareness and maritime counter-terrorism.