On March 27, 2014 the Slovak Atlantic Commission (SAC) hosted a public discussion with Minister of Defence of Georgia, Irakli Alasania. The event was part of his official visit to Slovakia, during which the first bilateral agreement on cooperation in the area of defence and security was signed between the Ministries of Defence of Slovakia and Georgia.

Minister Alasania has said that Georgia embarked on an ambitious task of transforming its armed forces – making them fully professional, smaller in numbers, lighter in terms of armament, but highly mobile, deployable and interoperable.

The Georgian Armed Forces also plan to decommission all old Soviet-era weapons and armament and procure new defence systems. Concerning Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic ambitions, Mr. Alasania has added that his country would appreciate to be granted the Membership Action Plan at the NATO Summit in Cardiff but they do not have any high expectations. He has also remarked that NATO is currently not able to protect Georgia militarily, therefore they have to develop own reliable deterrence capabilities for own protection.

Minister Alasania has stressed that the new government of Georgia calmly communicates with Russia and tries to solve the differences diplomatically – as opposed to the approach of the previous government. In his view, Georgia is now talking to Russia, as if there was no occupation and at the same time it is talking to NATO and EU, as if there was no Russia.

In relation to the current situation in Ukraine he has remarked that if the world had been more efficient in addressing Russia in August 2008 during the war with Georgia, we wouldn’t have this kind of problems. At the end of the discussion, Mr. Alasania stressed that Georgia wishes to be a reliable partner and therefore intends to participate actively in military operations and missions abroad.