NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg participated in the opening ceremony of a joint NATO training center as part of his recent visit to Georgia, German TV channel Das Erste reported.
Beginning in 2016, the center will train Georgian army units as well as soldiers from other countries in the Black Sea region and the Caucasus. According to the channel, it is primarily a question of increasing the defense capability of the Georgian army and expanding mutual cooperation between NATO and the South Caucasian Republic.
“Stoltenberg's visit is very important for the ruling pro-Western coalition "Georgian Dream". Despite the growing frustration in NATO, the government and most of the population of Georgia are considering membership in NATO as a defense [measure] in the region, which is dominated by its northern neighbor Russia," Das Erste stressed.
Earlier, NATO member states refused Georgia membership in the alliance referring to the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The opening of a joint training center can be understood as an attempt to reach a compromise with Georgia. NATO gets to increase the defense capabilities of the Georgian Army, without provoking Russia to take any retaliatory steps, the German TV channel reported.