Joint press statements

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

  • 21 Feb. 2024 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 21 Feb. 2024 14:57

(As delivered)

So, Prime Minister Kobakhidze, welcome to NATO, it’s great to see you here.

We have met before but this is the first time we meet in your new capacity as Prime Minister and therefore let me start by congratulating you on your appointment as Prime Minister and we look forward to working with you.

Georgia is a close NATO partner, and we fully support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

NATO continues to call on Russia to reverse the recognition of Georgian territories as independent states.
Any threats by Russia to annex Georgia’s occupied regions are unacceptable.

This week, we mark the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s withdrawal from Avdiivka shows that the situation on the battlefield is extremely difficult.

But the Ukrainians have exceeded expectations over and again. And NATO continues to stand with Ukraine.

Just in the last few days, Allies have announced new military support packages worth billions of euros. Including for air defences, artillery ammunition, and F-16 equipment. 

NATO partners are also playing a key role, and I welcome that Georgia is providing humanitarian and financial aid, and hosting thousands of Ukrainian refugees.

At our meeting today, we will also address security in the Black Sea region which I know is of great importance for Georgia.

Russia’s war against Ukraine poses substantial risks to the freedom of navigation. This also impacts food security around the world. So I welcome the efforts of Allies working to demine the Black Sea, making it safer for navigation and commerce.

In our meeting today we will also discuss the partnership between NATO and Georgia, and how to develop it further.

I welcome the progress made in areas like crisis management, cyber security, military engineering, and secure communications.

I also congratulate you on gaining candidate status with the European Union.

Now it is important for Georgia to continue and step up domestic reforms and uphold democratic values.

We want to see Georgia move in the right direction. Toward more democracy and prosperity. Toward full membership in the Euro-Atlantic family.

NATO will continue to stand by your side as you work toward fulfilling those aspirations.

So Prime Minister, once again welcome, it’s great to see you here at the NATO headquarters.