The Alliance is deepening cooperation with Georgia on Black Sea security, for which four clear steps will be taken, said Special Representative of NATO Secretary General for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai. One of these steps, he said, is the inclusion of Georgia in the “hybrid defence” system from Russia.
“There are two reasons for the political decision to provide Georgia with a new support package,” he said in an interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster (Radio of Georgia).
Appathurai noted that the first reason is the alliance’s desire to deepen its existing close cooperation with Georgia, and the second is “the deterioration of the security situation in the Black Sea region.” According to him, the situation worsened due to the actions of Russia, which is increasing its military strength in the Black Sea.
“Based on this, we plan to take the following steps. First of all, we will include Georgia in even greater activity, which we call the “hybrid defence”. I’m talking about defence against the means and opportunities that Russia uses against other countries – cyber attacks, disinformation, energy blockade, disguised intelligence or military activity,” Appathurai noted.
“We are working with Ukraine and Georgia on this issue. We will strengthen cooperation to protect ourselves from such threats,” he said.
According to Appathurai, NATO also wants to include Georgia in its airspace security program.
Two more components are related, as he declared, to military exercises. He expressed the hope that more Ukrainian troops will take part in the exercises at the NATO Training and Assessment Center (JTEC), which operates in Georgia.
Also, Appathurai stated that the Alliance member countries are considering a deeper involvement of Georgia in NATO military exercises, including in the region.