FILLON: UKRAINE AND GEORGIA HAVE NO PLACE IN NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
Former Prime Minister of France, presidential candidate of the country Francois Fillon has declared that Ukraine and Georgia have no place in NATO and the European Union. He told this in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, reports RIA Novosti
“I will remind you about the irresponsible statements of those who wanted the entry of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. You just need to admit that Ukraine and Georgia are not designed to enter the EU and NATO,” said French ex-Prime Minister.
Fillon has criticized Western countries for waging an aggressive policy against Russia, he noted that Russia has a lot of responsibility, but not by her. According to him, the military competition with Moscow is a big mistake. He also called the false question of missile defense near the Russian borders.
“Is it always the West has been a reliable partner? Isn’t he deceived Russia on Libya, in Kosovo, for economic partnership with the EU? Why did we need to deploy missile defenses near the Russian border? We made a lot of mistakes,” said Fillon.
Earlier the candidate in presidents of France Francois Fillon has declared that relations with Russia – a strategic issue for Europe’s future. According to Fillon, the issue of restoration of relations with Moscow is very important for Europe, and for this repair it is necessary to solve the Ukrainian question and to respect the Minsk agreement.
The Vice Prime Minister of Georgia participates in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Riga
On 1 December 2021, the Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister of Georgia, David Zalkaliani participated in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs where the Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Ukraine - NATO aspirants - were invited.
During the Ministerial Meeting, the Secretary General of NATO and the Foreign Ministers of the Member states reaffirmed their support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Highlighting that Georgia is a close partner of NATO, they underlined its contribution to global security, including NATO-led operations and missions.
It was reiterated that NATO remains committed to the decision taken at the Bucharest Summit and expresses its readiness to continue its political and practical support.
Among the issues discussed at the Ministerial Meeting was the Black Sea security. In this context, special attention was paid to the Alliance’s cooperation with the partner countries, the strengthening of their integration mechanisms and further support.
The Riga Ministerial Meeting adopted a special report on aspirant countries, which reflects the progress made by aspirant countries on the path to NATO integration, as well as specific mechanisms and new directions for assisting the aspirants on the path to membership.
The Ministerial Meeting takes on a special importance prior to the Alliance's 2022 summit, where a new strategic concept for NATO is to be approved. Within the framework of the Ministerial Meeting, Georgia had the opportunity to voice its expectations regarding the 2022 summit.
Georgia is actively involved in the process of developing NATO's 2030 strategic vision, so that important issues for Georgia are fully reflected in this strategy, which sets out the priorities for NATO for the next 10 years.
It should be noted that during the preparations for the Ministerial Meeting, Georgia developed and presented to the Alliance its visions for the country's integration into NATO, in terms of strengthening both practical and political support, including reforms, as well as enhancing the country's defense capabilities and resilience.
Georgia's participation in in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs indicates that the Alliance places high priority on the region's security and emphasizes our country’s special role in ensuring global and regional security.
USS Mount Whitney and USS Porter Arrive in Batumi, Georgia
By U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa / U.S. Sixth Fleet Public AffairsBATUMI, Georgia – The Blue Ridge-class command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) arrived in Batumi, Georgia for a scheduled port visit, Nov. 8, 2021.
The port visit highlights an important relationship between NATO allies and vital Black Sea partner Georgia. Georgia has been a consistent and steadfast partner in promoting peace and stability in the region.
Previously, USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) conducted a port visit in Batumi in February 2021. Legend-class Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton (WMSL-753) similarly stopped in Batumi in May 2021, after completing interoperability exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard.
“Georgia plays a critical role in maintaining security and stability in the Black Sea and is a valuable NATO partner,” said Rear Adm. James Morley, Deputy Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO). “We look forward to further enhancing the relationship between NATO and our Georgian counterparts here in Batumi.”
U.S. Sixth Fleet (SIXTHFLT) and STRIKFORNATO personnel are embarked aboard Mount Whitney, operating as an integrated team. The interoperability between the commands, and their presence in the region, demonstrates the U.S. and NATO’s commitment to the Black Sea and to working with allies and partners to advance peace and prosperity in the region.
While in Batumi, the ships’ crews will experience Georgian culture and traditions, while taking in the country’s rich history and interacting with local citizens.
“This is my first ship and first deployment with the Navy and being able to visit Georgia is exciting,” said Cryptological Technician (Technical) 2nd Class Melissa Mitchell, a Sailor assigned to Mount Whitney. “I have always wanted to go to Georgia and experience the culture and cuisine.”
While steaming to Batumi, Mount Whitney and Porter showed the power of joint operations by participating in the U.S. Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) led Operation Castle Forge. Castle Forge provides a dynamic, partnership-focused training opportunity in the Black Sea and demonstrates the joint force’s combined ability to respond in times of crisis with a flexible, reassuring presence.
Additionally, both ships partook in bilateral ship maneuvering drills, communication testing, and simulated exercises with ships from the Bulgarian Navy and Turkish Navies and were escorted into Batumi by the Georgian Coast Guard. These maneuvers, executed in accordance with international law, highlight the professionalism and skillful seamanship of all nations involved.
USS Mount Whitney, forward deployed to Gaeta, Italy, operates with a combined crew of Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners in the SIXTHFLT area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe and Africa.
STRIKFORNATO, headquartered on Oeiras, Portugal, is Supreme Allied Commander Europe’s (SACEUR) premier, rapidly deployable and flexible, maritime power projection Headquarters, capable of planning and executing full spectrum joint maritime operations, primarily through the integration of U.S. naval and amphibious forces, in order to provide assurance, deterrence, and collective defence for the Alliance.
SIXTHFLT headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.
Vice Admiral Gene Black: Good Afternoon! I’m Vice Admiral Gene Black, Commander of the Sixth Fleet, Commander of Striking and Support Forces NATO. I’m absolutely thrilled to be here on behalf of the U.S. Navy, the Sixth Fleet, and my NATO team for Striking and Support Forces NATO. What an amazingly warm welcome here in Georgia. I’d like to introduce Captain Prochazka, the Captain of my flagship, USS Mount Whitney.
Captain Prochazka: Good Afternoon and thank you for this warm welcome, the amazing ceremony, and the warm reception to your country and this amazing city.
Captain Dan Prochazka: My name is Captain Dan Prochazka, I’m the commanding officer of USS Mount Whitney. The service members and civilian mariners from Mount Whitney are excited to explore the rich culture and history of Georgia to interact with the local civilians and to work with our military partners.
Question about Georgia’s role in the Black Sea region and relationship with the country
Vice Admiral Black: I think the importance of Georgia is clear when you consider that Secretary of Defense Austin recently visited I’m here representing the Sixth Fleet and the U.S Navy and NATO. You are a very important ally and partner in the Black Sea Region and we very much look forward to operating with you and visiting with you. And thank you, again for the wonderful, warm welcome.
Irakli Garibashvili: Almost a year ago I voiced an idea about manufacturing firearms in Georgia and today we are officially launching the production of GI-4 and every unit of it will be manufactured in the country
Georgia is launching the production of an automatic rifle of NATO standards GI-4 (5.56) at a Georgian-Israeli enterprise Delta CAA, which was incorporated at the premises of Delta, Manufacturing of the automatic firearms of NATO standards was observed by Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia together with Juansher Burchuladze, Minister of Defense of Georgia and Major Gen. Giorgi Matiashvili, Chief of the Georgian Defense Forces today.
The Head of Government of Georgia underlined the significance of the enterprise, thereby noting that every unit of the rifle, including the plastic details, will be manufactured locally at the enterprise.
"It is yet another completed task. It was our promise, which I voiced almost a year ago. We started an intensive work towards it back then and you now see the outcome - joint venture manufacturing automatic rifles. We imported state-of-the-art machinery and equipment from the USA. It is the most advanced technology and every unit of the firearms is produced here. We have now officially launched the enterprise and will be producing GI-4 similar to M4, which is very important. I congratulate Delta LLC and everyone at the Ministry of Defense of Georgia with this milestone achievement. Apart from this, you may well be aware that every unit of the rifle - including the plastic details - will be produced locally at the enterprise. We trained our staff - people who work here. This is a very important achievement and I congratulate everyone with the commissioning of this utterly vital enterprise" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Automatic rifles of NATO standards - GI-4 (5.56) will be manufactured at the enterprise for the defense forces of Georgia. It will facilitate the supply of modern firearms to the military divisions of the country. This project was initiated in the country during the time when Irakli Garibashvili served as a Minister of Defense. New Georgian-Israeli enterprise is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery and equipment manufactured in leading countries of the world. Full technological cycle of production will be performed locally to manufacture GI-4 (5.56) in Georgia. Functionalities of the enterprise will further broaden in future to enable for the production of various firearms and accessories. It will also be possible to modernize various weapons at the enterprise. In addition, it is planned to produce output for export markets in future. Company employs outstanding graduates of higher education institutions, who have already been retrained.
Press Service of the Government Administration
David Zalkaliani has met with the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia
The Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani met with the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Javier Colomina, who arrived in Georgia as part of his regional tour.
The sides discussed all current issues of NATO-Georgia cooperation. The conversation focused on Georgia’s progress on the Euro-Atlantic integration path and noted that Georgia is one of the closest and most compatible partners of the Alliance. The sides underlined NATO's commitment to the decision of the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a member of NATO.
David Zalkaliani and Javier Colomina exchanged views over the difficult security environment in the occupied regions of Georgia. Javier Colomina reiterated the Alliance’s support for Georgia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations and its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The sides discussed NATO-Georgia cooperation in the field of Black Sea security and the need for aspirant Georgia’s more active involvement in NATO’s efforts to strengthen Black Sea security.
Javier Colomina thanked Georgia for its contribution to international peace and security, as well as for its role during the recent evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan.
The sides also discussed issues related to ა new strategic concept for NATO, and the Georgian side expressed the hope that the new concept will duly address the need to maintain an "open door policy" and Georgia's membership in NATO.
Prime Minister’s meeting with NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili held a meeting with Javier Colomina, the NATO Secretary General's newly appointed Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia.
During the meeting, the Prime Minister congratulated Colomina on his appointment and expressed confidence that his tenure will mark NATO-Georgia relations deepening even further and concrete steps toward Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration.
The conversation focused on NATO's open-door policy and Georgia's integration into the North Atlantic Alliance, pointing out the country's formidable progress toward European and Euro-Atlantic integration, strengthening democratic institutions, and implementing defense reforms.
The meeting paid special attention to the upcoming 2022 NATO Summit, underlining it as an excellent opportunity for duly assessing Georgia's progress, further to encourage the country's advancement on the path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.
The meeting discussed cooperation on Black Sea security, with emphasis on Georgia's considerable contribution to ensuring Euro-Atlantic peace and security. The parties underscored Georgia's role in in international peace missions, namely the ISAF operations in Afghanistan and the process of evacuation from Afghanistan after the completion of the Resolute Support Mission. Georgia remains committed to the common principles and values of security, ready to continue participating in the Allies' efforts to secure global peace and security.
The parties singled out the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, the key mechanism of NATO's practical support for Georgia, as the Georgian Government's top priority.
The meeting also touched on the importance of joint NATO-Georgia exercises, underlining that joint efforts have resulted in modernizing and developing relevant training infrastructure meeting NATO standards. Consequently, Georgia is ready to offer the Allies a high-standard setting for large-scale drills.
The meeting was attended by Head NATO International Office's Political Affairs and Security Division Steffen Elgersma, Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia Rosaria Puglisi, Deputy Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia Pirit Pikker, and Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani representing the Georgian side.
Press Service of the Government Administration