Our response to the visit of NATO Secretary General to Georgia

Over the past two decades,

Georgia has made significant strides towards NATO integration, actively participating in NATO military missions and joint exercises, while various cooperative initiatives have flourished. The Georgian populace views NATO membership as the primary tool for ensuring the country’s security, a sentiment reflected in consistently high levels of support for membership. a sentiment reflected in consistently high levels of support for membership.

However, concerns arise from the rhetoric and actions of the “Georgian Dream” government regarding NATO. In 2023, at the Global Security Forum in Bratislava, the former Prime Minister of Georgia and the current chairman of the ruling party linked Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine to “NATO” and repeated the message of Russian propaganda from a high political platform.

Beyond mere rhetoric, the government’s focus appears skewed towards acquiring military hardware, such as “Batinki”, rather than bolstering the personnel and technical capabilities of the Georgian Defense Forces. Despite a defense budget increase to 1.370 billion GEL in 2024, a mere fraction—230 million GEL—will be allocated for defense capability development, with the remainder directed towards salaries, logistics, and improvements in social and infrastructural sectors.

Recent alarming reports have surfaced regarding the “Georgian Dream” government’s official employment of a businessman with close ties to Russian oligarchs, Davit Khidasheli, who served as an advisor in a key governmental structure from 2020 until February 9, 2024.

Throughout its 12-year tenure, the government has seemingly avoided meaningful strengthening of the military, often citing a non-provocative stance towards Russia. However, it’s evident that true restoration of territorial integrity and long-term peace can only be achieved through NATO and European Union membership.

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