mercredi 28 mai 2008

Lithuania supports the defence reforms implemented in Georgia

Article published in, 27/03/2006 Issue
By Célia CHAUFFOUR and Nicolas LANDRU in Paris and Tbilisi, translated by Victoria BRYAN


Lithuania has been accompanying the USA on the “Georgia Train and Equip Program”. Lithuania provided Georgia with materiel assistance worth 100,000 USD in 2002. Q&A with Albertas Charzevskis, Lithuanian Defence Attaché in Tbilisi.

Recently, some newspapers evoked the delivery of two military boats from Vilnius to Tbilisi; can you confirm it? Some newspapers also mentioned that Georgian officers have been following training at the Vilnius Military Academy; is that correct?
Lithuania has never officially offered such assistance and this issue has never been officially discussed.Lithuania stresses the importance of military education for the states that are undergoing defence reform.

Therefore we offer (starting from 2003) for South Caucasus states – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia two slots annually (for each country) in the International Captains’ Course and two slots annually (for each country also) – in the English Language Course in the Lithuanian Military Academy.

The same or similar number of slots is allocated for Ukraine, Moldova and the Balkan countries.Lithuania sponsors studies at the Baltic Defence College (Tartu, Estonia) of one Georgian, one Armenian and one Azerbaijan officer as well.

The post of the Lithuanian Military Attaché in Tbilisi was recently created in autumn 2005. Is it a sign of the growing interest of Lithuania in Georgia? Why does Lithuania get so engaged in Georgia, especially through those security-defence agreements?

Lithuania started its cooperation with Georgia in defence area in 2002 when an agreement on military cooperation between two countries was signed. The primary idea of cooperation with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan was to initiate cooperation between the Baltic States, South Caucasus and NATO countries with the aim to assist South Caucasus countries in stability building through reforming their defence establishments by expanding common Euro-Atlantic values to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Cooperation between our defence establishments is growing and becoming closer, therefore the Defence Attaché institution was established. Georgia clearly indicates its ambitions to join the Euro-Atlantic community. Therefore, having in mind fresh and useful experience, we consider that it is our obligation to share the practice, to support and assist Georgians.

Did Lithuania develop similar agreements with Azerbaijan and Armenia? If not, why?
Lithuania signed bilateral agreements on military cooperation with Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2002 too. Lithuania has annual bilateral programs in the area of defence and security with all three South Caucasus states and actively participates in South Caucasus Clearing House, which is aimed at effectively coordinating international assistance to those countries.

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