NATO on Thursday opened a training center in Georgia as the ex-Soviet country eyes closer partnership with the Western military alliance amid tensions with Russia.
The establishment of the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center, to be based just outside the capital Tbilisi, is aimed at buttressing the small ex-Soviet country which fought a five-day war with Russia in 2008.
“There is more Georgia in NATO and more NATO in Georgia,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint news conference alongside Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili before the opening ceremony.
Stoltenberg, who arrived in Tbilisi on Wednesday, said the center would train both Georgian and NATO troops.
“This center will help Georgia to continue making its armed forces more modern and more capable of meeting 21st century challenges,” Stontelberg said at the opening ceremony in the Krtsanisi National Training Center outside Tbilisi.
“It will be equally important in training Allied and partner troops,” he said in the presence of Georgia’s prime minister, president and top officials.