Secretary General in Tbilisi: NATO supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity

  • 18 Mar. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 18 Mar. 2024 14:23

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg continued his tour of the South Caucasus on Monday (18 March 2024), meeting with President Salome Zourabichvili and Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze of Georgia in Tbilisi.

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

“Georgia is one of NATO’s closest partners. We highly appreciate your substantial contributions to NATO missions and operations and we fully support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia,” Mr Stoltenberg said. He called on Russia to reverse the recognition of Georgian territories South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and added that Russia’s organisation of elections in occupied parts of Georgia and Ukraine is completely illegal. “Russia’s presidential election was clearly neither free nor fair,” Mr Stoltenberg said.

The Secretary General welcomed Georgia’s substantial contributions to NATO operations and support to Ukraine. Georgia is hosting thousands of Ukrainian refugees and providing crucial humanitarian and financial aid. “Russia persists in its pursuit of imperial ambitions. And in Ukraine, the situation on the battlefield remains difficult,” he said. “But, with our support, Ukraine has pushed back - destroying or damaging a significant part of Russia’s Black Sea fleet,” allowing Ukraine to re-open grain shipping that is vital for their economy and for global food security.

During his visit, the Secretary General discussed ways to further strengthen NATO’s partnership with Georgia. NATO is stepping up its cooperation with Georgia in areas such as crisis management, cyber security, military engineering and secure communications. Mr Stoltenberg underlined NATO’S commitment to support Georgia’s path towards stronger democracy and full Euro-Atlantic integration, including the 2008 Bucharest decision that Georgia will become a member of NATO.

The Secretary General will conclude his three day visit to the South Caucasus in Yerevan on Tuesday, meeting with President Vahagn Khachaturyan and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia. On Sunday and Monday, he met Azerbaijan’s leadership in Baku.