During his two-day visit to Georgia, Minister of Defence Kalle Laanet met with Georgian Minister of Defence Juansher Burchuladze, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, National Guard Commander Brigadier General Roman Jokhadze, Commander of the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Assessment Center, Lieutenant Colonel David Gagua, and visited the South Ossetia Administrative Boundary Line, in Odzis.
‘Georgia and Estonia have always enjoyed exceptionally good relations, including in defence cooperation. We acknowledge Georgia’s progress and perseverance in terms of defence and security reforms and integration into NATO. Estonia will undoubtedly support Georgia in building up an independent defence capability,’ said Minister of Defence Laanet. ‘Also worth noting is the similarity between Estonia and Georgia, in that both countries share a broad concept of national defence,’ he added.
‘I also got to know the situation on the Administrative Line in Odzis, South Ossetia. Thirteen years have passed since the Russian Federation’s attack on Georgia, but the aggression of that time is not over. The situation in the occupied territories is becoming increasingly tense, as Russia is strengthening the temporary border of the occupied territories, creating infrastructure there and impeding freedom of movement, to name only a few of the negative effects on Georgia,’ the Minister of Defence noted.
Defence co-operation between Georgia and Estonia includes cyber defence, the training of Georgian officers at the Baltic Defence College, and co-operation between the Defence League and the Georgian National Guard. Recently, Estonia participated in the NATO-Georgia military exercise Agile Spirit 2021, and we hope to see Georgia participate next year in the Estonian Defence Forces’ large-scale military exercise Siil 2022. In addition to bilateral cooperation, Estonia is also supporting Georgia through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) and the Nordic-Baltic Assistance Program (NBAP). The key policy recommendations for these programs are the offering of training and advice on the development of capabilities necessary for national defence.
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