by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) in Defence Ministers' session
We have just finished a productive meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission.
Georgia is among our closest partners.
And we deeply appreciate its many contributions to our shared security.
Georgia is one of the largest contributors to our training mission in Afghanistan.
Helping to stabilize the country, and deny safe haven to terrorists.
Georgia also provides troops to the NATO Response Force.
This afternoon, we discussed how we can build on our cooperation.
At our Summit in July, Allied leaders reaffirmed that Georgia will join the Alliance.
This is in line with our decision at the Bucharest Summit in 2008.
NATO’s door remains open.
Today, Allies also restated their full support for Georgia’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.
We call on Russia to end its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
And to withdraw its forces from these regions of Georgia.
We are also concerned by Russia’s military build-up in the Black Sea region.
Black Sea security is a priority for NATO and for Georgia.
We are working together here more closely than ever before:
With training for Georgian Coast Guard boarding teams;
More cooperation between Georgian and NATO naval forces;
And with cooperation between Georgia’s Joint Maritime Operations Centre and the NATO’s Maritime Command.
Allies also welcomed the continued progress Georgia is making on reforms.
In particular on more effective security and defence institutions and modernising their armed forces.
The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package is already bolstering the country’s defence reforms.
Including with our Joint Training and Evaluation Centre.
We encourage Georgia to continue along the path of reform.
Tonight, Ministers will discuss our work to achieve fairer burden sharing in the Alliance.
Over the past two years, European Allies and Canada have increased their defence spending by $41 billion US dollars.
And I expect to see further increases next year.
So we are investing more in our security. But there is a renewed sense of urgency that we must do more.
And this is what we will be discuss during our
And with that I’m ready to take your questions.