Georgia on the Right Track- for the NATO and EU Membership – GDSC II Panel
6 November 2019

The II Panel of the Georgia Defence and Security Conference (GDSC) in Batumi was dedicated to discussion of the Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Lasha Darsalia, Vice Minister of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania Vytautas Umbrasas and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Germany to Georgia Hubert Knirsch took part in the discussion of the panel “Georgia on the Right Track- for the NATO and EU Membership”.

The participants of the discussion talked about the NATO Open Door Policy and the strategic momentum to extend an invitation to Georgia. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Lasha Darsalia focused attention on Georgia’s progress on the path to NATO membership and talked about the mind set of the Russian political elite. According to Deputy Foreign Minister, Georgia is technically ready for NATO membership and consolidated answer to existing challenges should be Georgia’s membership of the North Atlantic Alliance. As he noted that there is a wide consensus on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration in Georgia and Georgia has no other alternative.

Vice Minister of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania Vytautas Umbrasas noted that Georgia is doing a great job on the course to NATO membership and paving way to the European Union membership: “We see a steady progress in reforming your security, defence, economy and other sectors according to NATO and EU standards”. He also stressed that the support of the Georgian population to join the Euro-Atlantic institutions is commendable. Georgia’s significant troop contribution to the global peace and security was also highlighted at the panel that is one of the reasons that Georgia is regarded as a trusted and valuable partner. As it was noted at the panel, Georgia actively uses all practical instruments to prepare for eventual membership of NATO.

“Let me be very clear – NATO doors remain open. The examples of Montenegro and the Rupublic of North Macedonia confirm this. We do understand and strongly support your desire to enter this door. This long process driven by political considerations should not discourage you from your strategic choice,” - Vytautas Umbrasas declared and added that Georgia is on the right track and should continue reforms and pursue its policy goals. “Lithuania was and will remain a firm and consistent supporter of Georgia’s way to NATO and European Union. We will do everything to call Georgia our Ally in NATO and our fellow member state in the European Union,” - Vice Minister of Defence of the Republic of Lithuania said and encouraged both sides - Georgia and its Western partners to have strategic patience on the Euro-Atlantic integration path.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Germany to Georgia Hubert Knirsch declared that NATO supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and elaborated on the contribution of the Federal Republic of Germany in this regard. He said that Georgia is on the right track and highlighted the importance of support from the partners on this path. According to Hubert Knirsch, NATO open door policy still remains and no other power can decide the fate of another coutry. The discussion was moderated by the editor-in-chief of “New Eastern Europe”, Adam Reichardt.