Lithuania will continue supporting Georgia’s aspirations of NATO and European integration , Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas says
Priority areas of Lithuania’s cooperation with Georgia remain unaltered, it is cyber defence, strategic communication, joint exercises, and Lithuania’s support to Georgia’s aspirations of NATO and EU integration. That was reiterated by Vice Minister of National Defence Vytautas Umbrasas in a phone call with First Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Lela Chikovani.
Lithuanian Vice Minister of National Defence congratulated his Georgian counterpart on the Independence Day of Georgia which is celebrated on May 26 and wished her country to overcome the current challenges as successfully as possible, as well as to seek the Euro-Atlantic integration goals consistently, and underscored that Lithuania remained firmly committed in that area.
“Even if a part of the scheduled events and initiatives have been cancelled, we will work to resume them in the nearest future. Our priorities for cooperation remain the same as before, it is cyber defence, strategic communication, and joint exercises. Students of Georgia are also welcome to attend courses at the Military Academy of Lithuania,” Vice Minister V. Umbrasas said.
Vice Minister and Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Lela Chikovani discussed the assistance rendered by the Armed Forces in the COVID-19 pandemic management and topical aspects of bilateral cooperation. V. Umbrasas briefed his counterpart on the ways the Lithuanian Armed Forces were assisting civilian state institution in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked for the benevolent cooperation of Georgian defence institutions in arranging delivery of humanitarian aid to Georgia by the Lithuanian Air Force Spartan cargo aircraft. Lithuania delivered to Georgia, and also to Armenia and Moldova, protective face shields that are in a very short supply at Georgia’s healthcare institutions. The Spartan also took home a Georgian student of the Lithuanian Military Academy and another 9 citizens of Georgia.
The Vice Ministers also discussed topical matters of the Eastern Partnership policy, underscored the importance of its continuation, and the necessity to maintaining the focus on the involvement of Eastern Partnership countries in the Common Security and Defence Policy.
Defence cooperation of Lithuania and Georgia
Lithuania supports Georgia’s aspirations to become a member of NATO and the European Union in various ways. International community recognizes Abkhazia and South Ossetia that were annexed by Russia after the war of 2008 as territories of Georgia.
Lithuania and Georgia actively cooperate in military area. Georgian representatives are studying at the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Lithuanian Armed Forces School, Military Medical Service, Baltic Defence College in Estonia. High-level visits and academic exchange of English language students and teachers of Lithuanian and Georgian military academies are arranged. Lithuania provides consultations for Georgian colleagues on cyber security and strategic communication, Georgian troops train in Lithuania and Lithuanian – in Georgia. Lithuania also supports implementation of projects of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package: since 2015 Lithuania and other Nordic and Baltic countries have been helping with the creation of the NATO-Georgia joint Training and Assessment Centre. A Lithuanian officer is assigned to serve at the Centre. Lithuania also made financial contributions to the NATO Trust Fund for defence and related capacity building initiatives in 2017 and 2019.
Lithuania and Georgia have recently intensified cooperation on cybersecurity: take part in joint exercises, exchange experience on cyber tool development, signed a Declaration of Intent laying out service of Georgian personnel at the Regional Cyber Security Centre in Kaunas, part of the National Cyber Security Centre.
Photo credit: Giedrė Maksimovicz/MoD