President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze.
The meeting focused on bilateral relations, Georgia’s cooperation with the European Union and the process of European reforms. A lot of attention at the meeting was devoted to the security situation in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea region.
The President highlighted that Lithuania was looking forward to the visit of the new President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, which is expected in the beginning of spring.
According to the President, Lithuania has been and will remain a close friend and partner of Georgia. Lithuania has always supported and will continue to support Georgia’s territorial integrity and its Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations.
Georgia has achieved huge progress in European reforms and has been successfully implementing the Association Agreement and is rightly referred to as the leader of the EU Eastern Partnership program. The President emphasized that it was particularly important for Georgia to keep up with the achieved pace of reforms. It was necessary to step up efforts in ensuring the independence of law enforcement and the media as well as fighting corruption in the country.
When discussing collaboration between Georgia and NATO, the President stressed that the role of the Alliance with respect to Georgia was ever increasing. The NATO–Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center established in Tbilisi maintained intensive work, with Lithuania also actively contributing to its operations. A joint NATO and Georgia military exercise is planned later this year. The President believes that these are important steps towards Georgia’s integration to NATO. The President and the Prime Minister agreed to strengthen the response to hybrid threats by focusing on cyber security in particular.
The President also pinpointed that Lithuania had been consistently supporting Georgia’s NATO membership aspirations and encouraged the Alliance to implement decisions adopted at the Bucharest Summit in 2008.
Bilateral economic questions were also discussed at the meeting. According to the President, a lot of untapped potential still lies in the areas of economy and business. Lithuania and Georgia are two young developing nations with very talented, educated and bright people; therefore, traditional as well as modern technology sectors such as renewable energy, innovation and science offer so many new opportunities.