by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili

  • 25 Apr. 2023 -
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  • Last updated 27 Apr. 2023 11:56

(As delivered)

Prime Minister Garibashvili,
Dear Irakli,

Welcome. It’s great to see you again.
Welcome back to the NATO Headquarters.
It is good to have you here.

Georgia is one of NATO’s closest partners, and Allies fully support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We continue to call on Russia to reverse the recognition of Georgian territories as independent states.

Today in our meeting, we will talk about the NATO-Georgia partnership,
and how we can further strengthen our partnership.
In particular through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package.

I welcome Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
And you can count on NATO’s continued political and practical support.

In turn, I count on Georgia to redouble efforts on domestic reforms, and uphold democratic standards.

That is why I welcomed the decision to withdraw the draft law on “foreign influence”, which was incompatible with Euro-Atlantic values and the protection of fundamental freedoms.

The Georgian people have made clear that they want a democratic, prosperous country, integrated into the Euro-Atlantic region.
NATO will continue to be your partner as you work towards fulfilling these aspirations.

Today, we will also talk about Russia’s war of aggression, and the importance of standing by Ukraine.

Last week, I was in Kyiv.
My message to President Zelenskyy was clear.
NATO stands with Ukraine.
Today and for as long as it takes.

We do not know when the war will end.
But we know that Russian aggression is a toxic pattern that must be stopped once and for all.
Georgia and the Georgian people understand this very well.

Ukraine is upholding its right to self-defence under the UN Charter.
And we expect all NATO partners to support this aim.

So Prime Minister,
Welcome once again.
I look forward to our discussions.