The online event ‘The U.S. – Georgia: From Strategic Partners to Strategic Allies’ was organized by the Georgian think-tank Geocase. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Victor Kipiani, Chairman of Geocase, and Professor Dr. Khatuna Burkadze, Research Fellow at Geocase.
During discussion Mr. Victor Kipiani, focused on the changing security environment in the region and the stages that will facilitate the transition from a strategic partnership to a strategic alliance.
In this regard, Mr. Victor Kipiani stressed, that ‘Georgian-American relations today have all the implications to deepen strategic ties as strategic allies.
The speakers invited to the online discussion included Mr. Kakhaber Kuchava, Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia and H.E. David Bakradze, Ambassador of Georgia to the United States. Distinguished panelists reviewed the priority areas of the U.S. - Georgia agenda under the new U.S. administration. The structure and importance of the Strategic Partnership Charter between the United States and Georgia has been emphasized in the discussion.
Mr. Kakhaber Kuchava mentioned that ‘President Biden's administration has strong support for NATO's open-door policy, which gives us a reason to think about the possibility of achieving a very high goal, which is our long-standing choice. Our country has great support from all sides, they know the merits of the Georgian side in the NATO missions and strengthening the alliance, but, of course, the U.S. support is of particular importance in this regard. The main goal of our country is to restore the territorial integrity of the state, for that we need a strong economy, strong strategic partners to finally achieve the goal with our strength,’- said Mr. Kakhaber Kuchava.
Professor Dr. Khatuna Burkadze proposed that it is important to overcome the internal and external challenges by deepening strategic partnership with the United States. Dr. Burkadze noted, that ‘the current changes in the region have clearly shown the need to develop new initiatives. In particular, we may consider the need to establish a Georgian-American joint center focused on overcoming and countering hybrid challenges. Especially against the background of daily cyber-attacks, anti-Western propaganda, disinformation and other hybrid threats. In this context, we can think the other option that means to create the same center under the auspices of NATO with the support of the U.S. and other members of the Alliance.’
‘Under the administration of President Joseph Biden, I believe that our relations will deepen. Particularly, we can transform our strategic partnership in order to officially become strategic allies. At the same time, the multidimensional U.S. support for Georgia is noteworthy,’-underlined Professor Dr. Khatuna Burkadze.
Furthermore, H.E. Davit Bakradze discussed the current and future prospects of cooperation between the two countries in the field of defense and security. Ambassador Bakradze focused on the Georgian Defense Readiness Program developed on the basis of the Defense and Security Memorandum in 2016, which aims to strengthen Georgia's defense capabilities. ‘The field of defense and security is the direction in which the United States and Georgia act as true allies, despite the status that may not yet be officially established in this regard. That is, the NATO alliance and not NATO member alliance. In terms of security, we are close partners, in this regard, we have shown our commitment to global security at the cost of blood. So, I think our friendship and alliance has an important future ahead,” - said H.E. Davit Bakradze.
The Chair of Geocase, Mr. Victor Kipiani, concluded that the role of the United States in the formation of the modern state of our country is unique: ‘undoubtedly, our relationship has become richer, our role has grown, it has become more fruitful. It is on the basis of past achievements that the future must be built. That is why these relations must move from a strategic partnership to a strategic alliance.’