Minister Stropnicky: ‘Georgia may not be a NATO member but it behaves as if it were’

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

On 23rd July, Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky welcomed to the Czech Republic the Minister of Defence of Georgia, Ms. Tinatin Khidasheli, along with the Georgian ministerial delegation.

After the welcoming ceremony, both ministers went on to discuss the current status of the integration of Georgia into the Euro-Atlantic structure as well as the security situation at the northern Georgian/Russian border. At a press conference at the conclusion of the meeting, both ministers discussed the outcome of their talks and answered questions from the media.

”Georgia is a very important partner for us. We have witnessed Georgia‘s ongoing efforts in its approach to the North-Atlantic community and, although Georgia is not a NATO member, it behaves as if it were,“ said Minister Stropnicky, and illustrated this by pointing out that the Georgians who have deployed nine hundred soldiers in Afghanistan have made the second largest contribution to the NATO-led Resolute Support operation. Minister Stropnicky reiterated that the Georgian integration and their situation with the Russian Federation is an extremely important issue which should be resolved soon by the Alliance politicians.

Minister Khidasheli said that Georgia greatly appreciated the support it received from its western allies and that they rank the Czech Republic as one of its leading supporters.

”We strive to be a strong and determined partner of NATO and the EU in their struggle for peace and security in the world,” said Minister Khidasheli. Georgia demonstrates this determination by the presence of its units in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with UN missions in the Central African Republic and Mali. Georgia recognises its commitments and is prepared to join allied forces in any region it may deem necessary,” confirmed the Georgian Minister of Defence, while also conceding that her country faces serious security threats from its Russian neighbour. “The reason is very obvious, it is about preventing Georgia from a Euro-Atlantic integration, ” Minister Khidasheli went on to explain.

“Nevertheless, we stand firm in our decision not to allow conflict on Georgian territory. We are reassured to know that the Czech Republic will continue to support us in our efforts for integration and we greatly appreciate this support,” added Ms. Khidasheli.

Visit the website of Ministry of Defence of Georgia:

July 28, 2015