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Lithuanian and Georgian Minister of Defence signed joint statement of continued cooperation
On April 11 Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis visited Tbilisi and met with Minister of Defence of Georgia Levan Izoria. Following a brief formal meeting the Ministers signed a joint statement declaring mutual support of the countries and defence cooperation: through joint exercises and training, partnership with NATO, and facilitation of further Georgia’s defence reform.
“Lithuania has always backed Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we support its aspiration to become a member of NATO and contribution to joint operations. I appreciate our cooperation, but we are also linked by threats well familiar and plain for both. Therefore we have to seek to build on a joint resilience to them together,” R.Karoblis said.
R. Karoblis congratulated Georgia’s Minister of Defence upon the visa-free travel in the European Union taking effect. “It sends a very important message to the world from the EU about its support to Georgia and will to cooperate,” he said. The Ministers also discussed the global security situation and in Ukraine which they both had paid visits to over the past weeks, the progress of their countries’ armed forces reforms, prospects of participation in multinational operations and bilateral military cooperation.
Lithuania provides both political support and practical assistance to the aspirations of Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia. The two countries have been cooperating actively in the area of defence since signing a bilateral agreement in 2001.Main areas of military cooperation include: officer training, expert-level consultations across such areas as cyber defence, logistics, finance and budget, strategic planning, protection of classified information, legal issues, etc.
The Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Force and the Georgia National Guard, Special Operations Forces of both, Georgia and Lithuania, and the Military Academy of Lithuania and the National Defence Academy of Georgia also cooperate. Since 2004 Lithuania has been funding Georgian officers’ English Language and the Command and Junior Staff Officer Courses at the Military Academy of Lithuania, at the Baltic Defence College; since 2008 Georgian officers have been invited to military medics and since 2010 – to instructor courses at the NCO School.
Lithuania, UK, and NB8 countries established the NATO-Georgia Vocational Training Program for security and defence sector personnel in 2009. In 2009-2014 Lithuania and Latvia led the Public Relations Work Group and completed various specialist training projects. Lithuania provided financial support to the NATO-Georgia Vocational Training Program based on a trust fund model.
Photo credits: Ministry of Defence of Georgia