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Lithuania to assist Georgia in preparing for NATO membership


On 15 October Lithuanian National Defence Minister Linas Linkevicius met with Georgian President Michail Saakahvili and Defence Minister Giorgi Baramidze. The meeting addressed bilateral military co-operation, on-going military reforms, and participation in international operations.

The high-ranking officials discussed regional co-operation in the South Caucasus and Baltic Sea regions, a bilateral co-operation plan for next year. Lithuania proposed to fund studies of six Georgian military officers at the Lithuanian Military Academy and the Baltic Defence College, BALTDEFCOL, in Tallin, Estonia.



According to the bilateral co-operation plan, it was agreed to hold annual military staff talks that would focus on assistance and support measures to Georgia. Alongside consultations of military experts in the fields of legal base, resource management, defence planning will also be conducted on a regular basis.


Lithuania is one of co-ordinators of the NATO Clearing House for Georgia. The meeting addressed a visit by members of the institution to Georgia in November later this year.


During the meeting, the Lithuanian National Defence Minister underlined that " Lithuania will consistently support Georgia's NATO integration aspirations".


The meeting was also attended by the Lithuanian National Defence Ministry's Secretary, Dr Povilas Malakauskas.


Lithuania provides Georgia with consultations on NATO integration and drafting of military strategy issues within the framework of quadruple co-operation plan for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia, signed in 2003 in Brussels.


Under the bilateral co-operation plan, Lithuania has been providing Georgia with Planning and Review (PARP) Process National Integration issues since 2002.


Since 2001 Lithuania has paid for the studies of Caucasian region's military officers at the BLATDEFCOL. Lithuania has already funded studies of the two Georgian officers at the college. Furthermore, another two Georgian military officers have completed international captains courses and English language courses at the Lithuanian Military Academy in Vilnius.



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