Georgian FM: Substantial Package strengthens our defense capacities, brings us closer to NATO
Georgian FM: Substantial Package strengthens our defense capacities, brings us closer to NATO

We have returned from the NATO meeting of Foreign Ministers with a significant result, the enhanced version of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package was unanimously adopted,” – Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani said at a briefing held on Thursday.

According to the Minister, at yesterday’s meeting, almost all Foreign Ministers unanimously acknowledged the significant progress that Georgia has made on its path to NATO integration.

“For the past two years, Georgia has been invited to attend a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers. This proves that Georgia holds a very important place in NATO’s political agenda, as evidenced by the topics we discussed yesterday with NATO partners. We came back from the NATO meeting with a significant result. As you know, an enhanced version of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package was adopted unanimously.

Georgia received the Substantial Package, consisting of 14 programs, at the Wales Summit in 2014. The number of programs has increased by three more. The elements and components that are an important part of this Substantial Package are greatly enhanced. It should be noted here that this Substantial Package greatly strengthens our defence capacities, brings us closer to NATO membership, and significantly increases our compatibility with NATO standards. I think this is an extremely important step forward in terms of strengthening practical tools for Georgia.

Yesterday, almost all foreign ministers unanimously acknowledged the significant progress the country has made on its path to NATO integration. This path includes successful reforms in the field of defense, as well as reforms aimed at strengthening political, economic, and democratic institutions. This was another recognition of the progress our country has made on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration” – Georgian Foreign Minister said.

As David Zalkaliani noted, the strategic document “NATO 2030” developed by NATO experts, is an important result.

“The document sets NATO’s future prospects. It should be noted that Georgia is mentioned several times in this document. The fact that we are mentioned in the context of the Open Door Policy is very important. The recommendation part of this document reaffirms the decision of the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Georgia will definitely become a member of NATO. It mentions that membership negotiations with aspirant countries, including Georgia, should increase and move to a higher level.

The document stresses the security context of the Black Sea and Russia’s aggressive actions towards Ukraine and Georgia. This once again indicates that Georgia is constantly on the agenda of our NATO partner” – David Zalkaliani added.

NATO Foreign Ministers and Georgia approved the updated Substantial NATO-Georgia Package on December 2.  NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced at a press conference after the meeting that NATO steps up practical and political support to Georgia.

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