First training of a project “Debates for Internally Displaced Persons” took place in Vova Vekua Public School №3. The project is supported by Minister of Education and Culture of A/R Abkhazia. Secondary school students received information about YATA’s work, a history of NATO, its development and missions. Other important topics were development of NATO-Georgia relationship and future perspectives. Students also got the information about the art of reframing political debates as well.
YATA-Georgia has organized discussion at NATO Liaison Office on October 1st 2014. The main topic of discussion was: “Wales Summit Outcomes”. The speakers were:
- Mr. William Lahue – Head of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia;
- Mr. Alex Petriashvili – State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration
- Mr. Irakli Mchedlishvili- member of the Civil Council on Defense and Security.
Each of the speakers was given 15-20 minutes to make their speeches. They spoke about the main points that were discussed on Wales summit:
- Topic about NATO partnership: the point that NATO is keen on making new contacts and increasing the partnership level for Georgia and other post-soviet countries.
- The importance of NATO package given to Georgia as a new member of NRF
- Topic about Afghanistan: The contribution of Georgian soldiers to NATO in Afghanistan
- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
- Overview of Georgia’s position in NATO and future plans
Speakers summarized Wales Summit outcomes and emphasized that Georgia has an obvious potential to become a member of NATO. It was mentioned a crucial fact about Georgia being an only country out of aspirant countries which received a substantive package with the information that Georgia became a part of NRF(NATO Response Force). As Mr. Petriashvili said Georgia is considered at the same level as Sweden and Australia. He thanked to our soldiers who are the best representatives in Afghanistan, best representatives for the country’s international image.
One of the main topics of the discussion also was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. NATO will have to make fast actions if Russia keeps invading other country’s territories like it happened in Georgia and Ukraine. As Mr. Lahue mentioned NATO will refocus on defense, on the vulnerabilities of one of the most important partners such as Georgia and Finland.
The discussion has been attended by students from various universities. They also had an opportunity to ask the speakers interesting questions and get exhaustive responds from them.
YATA Georgia is also planning to organize similar discussions and other events in the immediate future.
Current crisis in Afghanistan has been remaining one of the prime challenges for the United States and its NATO allies, especially in conditions of the quite vague future, to which this country will face after the withdrawal of the main US forces after 2014. About 1 000 Georgian troops are deployed in one of the most dangerous region of Afghanistan, the southern province of Helmand under the ISAF command and according to Georgian officials, their mission will have continued even after 2014. Thus, it would be interesting to examine the situation in the field, where Georgian militaries are operating and will operate in the future during their peacekeeping and combat missions.
Georgian involvement in Afghanistan began with moderate steps in 2004 and since 2009 has become larger scale. “Georgia is one of the largest contributors per capita to the ISAF military operation ongoing under the aegis of NATO in Afghanistan. In October 2012, the 12th Battalion of the I Infantry Brigade replaced the 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade. Currently, the 32rd Battalion of the III Infantry Brigade together with 12th Battalion is fulfilling the ISAF mission. It’s the second time the 32nd Battalion is taking part in the international operation. From April 2011 till April 2012, Georgian military instructors (artillerists) were carrying out peacekeeping mission in Kandahar province, Afghanistan as part of the French peace contingent. Besides, from January 2010, two liaison officers were deployed at Turkish contingent HQ in Regional Command Center in Kabul for 12 month” (www.mod.gov.ge/en/). More
For months, the Crimean crisis had been in a deadlock, with ethnic Russians living in Crimea (approximately 60%of the population) denouncing the current government regarding it as illegitimate and demanding that Crimea be separated from Ukraine, while the rest of the population, Ukrainians and Tatars, rejected vigorously the thought of Crimea’s secession. An event that can be considered of paramount importance for Europe, as it is one of the greatest challenges of European security and post-cold war international order.
The crisis unfolded at the end of February 2014, in the aftermath of the Ukrainian revolution. After months of protests, which propelled an armed violence in Ukraine, the national government of Ukraine was ousted and replaced with leaders of the opposition parties. Russia condemned the event describing it as a violent coup and denounced the presence of Svoboda and Right Sector in the Yatsenyuk government that it regards as being neo-fascists. Indeed, Svoboda holds key posts in the current government. In the last days of February unmarked soldiers claimed by Russia to be local self-defense forces, however assumed to be Russian soldiers, gradually seized control of the peninsula and an unofficial military intervention by Russia in Crimea followed soon after. A rather simple task for Russia, considering it has a naval base in Sevastopol.