10:53 GMT +325 March 2017
Live
    War ships of the NATO Standing Maritime Group-2 take part in a military drill on the Black Sea. (File)

    Georgia Proposes Clever Way to Cheat Montreux Convention, Host NATO in Black Sea

    © AFP 2017/ DANIEL MIHAILESCU
    Politics
    Get short URL
    82365233

    Georgian Chief of General Staff Vladimir Chachibaia says that NATO should create a coast guard base in the Georgian Black Sea port of Poti. This, he argues, would help the alliance evade the provisions established in the Montreux Convention, which limit non-Black Sea powers' access to the body of water.

    Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, commander Chachibaia recalled that the Montreux Convention limits the frequency and duration of alliance warship visits to the Black Sea, and hinted that if NATO does not want to increase financial assistance to Georgia and Ukraine to grow their own flotillas, it could establish a coast guard base in Poti.

    "Frequent visits by NATO warships to the Black Sea are one of the ways for the alliance to enhance its operations. But there is a constraint: the Montreux Convention," the officer explained. "There is another option: for NATO to help Georgia and Ukraine to strengthen their Naval flotillas, which would require high spending." Alternatively, Chachibaia hinted, "NATO could set up a coast guard base in Georgia's coastal zone." 

    They could do so "near Poti – a port of strategic importance," the officer added.

    Chachibaia didn't clarify how this would help the alliance strengthen its presence in the body of water. The Montreux Convention puts limits on tonnage of vessels belonging to non-Black Sea powers deployed in Black Sea, and the amount of time they can remain there (21 days). Furthermore, the Montreux Convention specifically restricts non-Black Sea nations from establishing a permanent presence in the body of water.

    Chachibaia's remarks echoed those of Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria, who said Thursday that Tbilisi was ready to let NATO use its military facilities for training purposes as part of efforts to boost security in the Black Sea region.

    “We express our full readiness to join a greater number of NATO marine drills, we express readiness to let NATO use our ground infrastructure for various training purposes, we express readiness to have two officers in Romania for coordination purposes,” Izoria said, following a meeting with NATO Military Committee chairman Gen. Petr Pavel.

    Members of the NATO Military Committee, the bloc's senior military authority, arrived in Georgia earlier on Thursday. According to the Georgian Defense Ministry, the visit will end Friday.

    Georgia is not a NATO member, but has been seeking membership and cooperation with the alliance since the early 2000s. In 2008, NATO expressed support for Georgia's bid to join the alliance, and established a commission to oversee the process of Georgian NATO accession.

    Related:

    Full Coverage: Russia Expands Naval Air Patrols Throughout Black Sea Region
    Bargain Basement Gunboats: Ukraine Hopes to Rebuild Navy Using Old NATO Ships
    Russia Sends Its Cutting-Edge Frigate to Syrian Shores (VIDEO)
    On Alert: Crimea to Get BUK Missile Systems
    NATO Militarizing Black Sea to Put 'Political Pressure on Russia'
    Moscow Vows to Take Measures in Response to NATO Buildup in Black Sea
    Spanish MoD Confirms Russian Jets Followed Spanish Frigate in Black Sea
    Tags:
    military bases, Montreux Convention, NATO, Black Sea, Georgia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment

    All comments

    • avatar
      cast235
      This shows that NATO is the active power creating deaths, coups actively around Russia. NATO then is a BAD POWER of terrorists and NOT a security group.
      But anyways, NATO is NOT a power in the Black Sea , coast guard or not.
      ANOTHER DREAMER, thinking things will be so easy.

      Shows that Russia CANNOT trust Georgia that wishes ties JUST to get away with what it cannot otherwise.
      Best to end all trade, and all GAS and other transit.
      THANKS Gorbachev and Yeltsin for doing same STUPIDITY.
      They were trying to get CASH, and went like leaches and do ALL they were told.
      IF both would had DITCHED west, NATO both would had made it out. And about ARMS RACE , that's BOLOGNA , PROPAGANDA.
      Both could had taken the S Union to new levels, But it takes decades.

      Georgia and Ukraine are just running behind promised CASH.

      The MESS in E Ukraine is Washington that IS NATO.

      IS TRUMP lying about compromises? As CEO and NOT politocian he will NOT tell. SO , investigators will have to look for the smoking gun.
      Believe it or not, this HONEY WELL is what have , politicians all day like IDIOTS at Moscow talking about U.S..
      ANd I BET, they have some support for the editorial to ask the questions so , at every news, U.S and sanctions be mentioned.
      HOW? They grab a hold and then MSM etc, buy THOSE news. Making it appear that is a highly sellable item. So they will go ask , over and over and over.

      Politicians MUST learn to say, we refuse to talk about U.S and sanctions. Or we won't comment.

      Russia could be offering same cash. Now maybe Russia FINALLY wake up.
    Show new comments (0)