Partnership with U.S. is the highest priority for Georgia’s government and the last year was particularly remarkable and exemplary in this regard, Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said during a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly, who is completing his term in Georgia.
“Georgia was, is and will be a devoted strategic partner of U.S. Ambassador Ian Kelly has made a great contribution to enhancing relations of Georgia and U.S. and I would like to thank him for this. Ambassador Kelly completes diplomatic activities in Georgia and returns to his homeland. I wish him success!” the government press office quotes Kvirikashvili as saying.
Earlier, the U.S. diplomat told Georgian mass media that he is going to retire after his diplomatic mission to Georgia ends.
As EADaily reported earlier, after weeks of discussions, Democrats and Republicans in the Congress have finally agreed over the country’s federal budget for 2018 fiscal year. The budget will make up $1.3 trillion. The military aid to Georgia is to make up $103.32 million. According to Foreign Minister of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze, it is important that the Law on U.S. Federal Budget last year mentioned “occupation of Georgia’s territories” and U.S. sanctions on the countries that are somehow linked to “de-facto governments of the occupied regions.”
Georgia-U.S. military cooperation is based on a Memorandum “Of deepening defense and security partnership of Georgia and USA” signed in July 2016 during official visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Georgia. The document enabled Tbilisi to acquire defensive weapons and hold joint drills with U.S. Stemming from this document, in late 2016, the governments of Georgia and U.S. made a framework agreement on security cooperation for 2016-2019. The agreement implies construction of Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Viziani, Georgia, similar to JMRC in Hohenfels, Germany, where Georgian officers are training now to join NATO peacekeepers in Afghanistan. In November 2017, during U.S. ambassador’s meeting with Defense Minister of Georgia Levan Izoria, it was announced that Georgia would be rendered over $100 million financial aid for 2017-2018 to support defense reforms. Most of the given amount will actually be spent on purchase of 410 Javelin man-portable fire-and-forget antitank missiles (72 launch units, 10 training complexes and 70 fillers) for $75 million. The first butch of Javelins was supplied to Georgia’s Armed Forces on January 23, 2018.