Georgian Defense Minister Visits Latvia, Lithuania

Recently-appointed Georgian Minister of Defense Juansher Burchuladze on April 7-9 visited Latvia and Lithuania on his first working trip, where he held meetings with Latvian President Egils Levits, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, Saeima Speaker Ināra Mūrniece, also Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas and Seimas Speaker Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen.

During the meeting with Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks, the two talked about defense cooperation between the countries, also the situation in Georgia’s occupied regions, threats from Russia and global security challenges. Minister Burchuladze highlighted Latvia’s “significant contribution” to the European Union Monitoring Mission, the Defense Ministry’s press service reported.

Minister Burchuladze outlined to his Latvian counterpart the reforms in the Georgian military, including for achieving compatibility with NATO, also successful initiatives through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package and the country’s role in international missions.

The Georgian Defense Minister was also hosted by Saeima Speaker Ināra Mūrniece at the Latvian legislature, where they discussed Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic membership aspirations, including cooperation with the European Union.

According to the Defense Ministry’s press service, the two talked about Black Sea security, and the role of NATO in this regard. Minister Burchuladze highlighted that joining the Alliance is Georgia’s top defense and foreign policy priority.

With the Georgian delegation, comprised of First Deputy Defense Minister Lela Chikovani and Deputy Commander of the Defense Forces Brigadier General Irakli Chichinadze, Minister Burchuladze also visited the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group, located in the Ādaži camp, and the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence.

Afterward, Minister Burchuladze departed to Vilnius, hosted by his Lithuanian counterpart Arvydas Anušauskas. At the sitdown, besides bilateral relations and global security challenges, the two discussed cooperation in strategic communications and cybersecurity, as reported by the Georgian Defense Ministry press service. 

Georgian and Lithuanian Deputy Defense Ministers Lela Chikovani and Margiris Abukevičius also signed a 2021 bilateral cooperation plan between the Ministries.

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