"We support and will continue rendering political and practical support to Georgia's aspiration to become a member of NATO, we will spare no effort to ensure that Georgia gets prepared for NATO membership. We will continue providing bilateral assistance in the area of military training and will share our experience of integration and reform," Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas underscored at a meeting with Minister of Defence of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli on a visit in Lithuania on 14 September, the Ministry of National Defence said.
Juozas Olekas
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

According to Lithuanian minister, Lithuania will continue supporting Georgia both, on a bilateral basis, and as part NATO-Georgian cooperation initiatives.

In the recent past Lithuania has posted an officer to serve with the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) opened this August as our country supports a closer NATO cooperation with Georgia and the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package agreed to at the NATO Summit in Wales.

Olekas maintained that Lithuania will send its military personnel to exercises held in Georgia and invited Georgian soldiers to attend training events in Lithuania. He also underlined that Georgian officers and civilian officials were welcome to study at Lithuania's military education institutions and the Baltic Defence College.

At the meeting Olekas pointed out perspectives of enhanced cooperation between Lithuania and Georgia in strategic communication, cyber defence, and energy security. "These are the sectors were we can learn from each other," Minister Olekas said.

Minister Olekas also thanked his Georgian counterpart for Georgia's contribution to NATO and EU-led multinational missions and operations, encouraged to continue the defence reforms underway and to firmly stay the chosen course.

Lithuania and Georgia have been developing defence cooperation since signing an agreement on defence cooperation in 2001.

Lithuania supports Georgia's aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration by political means and through practical assistance to the implementation of Georgia's defence system and armed forces reforms.

Georgia is one of the partner countries that contribute the largest numbers of troops to EU and NATO-led operations. In 2007-2013 Georgia's military personnel served in the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team of Ghor in Afghanistan.

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