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On 31 March 2015, the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, addressed the Parliament of Georgia with his annual report. During his speech the President elaborated upon the situation in the wider region as well as upon the security challenges that Georgia currently faces. Mr Margvelashvili talked about the importance of the effective and timely implementation of the activities determined in the NATO-Georgia essential package and pointed out that he addressed the Government of Georgia twice, asking it to discuss this issue at a cabinet meeting, but he did not receive any kind of answer.

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the President’s statement.

We addressed the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, as well as the Administrations of both the President and the Government of Georgia, and asked them to provide information about which governmental structures were involved in the implementation of the activities provided for by the NATO-Georgia essential package. We also took interest in whether or not the President actually addressed the Government to discuss the issue at a cabinet meeting.

The information provided by the Administrations of both the President and the Government of Georgia confirms that the President did indeed address the Government on 6 November 2014 and 13 February 2015, asking it to discuss the implementation of the activities provided for by the NATO-Georgia essential package. It should be pointed out that in the 13 February 2015 letter, the Head of the Administration of the President of Georgia, Davit Pataraia, reminds the Head of the Administration of the Government of Georgia, Maya Tskitishvili, that he had received no answer to his previous letter about the aforementioned issue.

The Government of Georgia left both of these suggestions without any reaction. In addition, in reply to our question about the arguments used by the Administration of the Government of Georgia for not answering the President of Georgia’s aforementioned requests, we were told that the Administration does not hold such information. The reason for the Government of Georgia not including this issue in its agenda is also unknown to the Administration of the President of Georgia.

According to the information received from the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, the implementation of the essential package received at the Wales Summit is a national priority. The Georgian side has active consultations with NATO member states as well as with the representatives of NATO’s International and International Military Services. In addition, the NATO-Georgia Commission and other high-level meetings have been held in order to facilitate the implementation of the partnership package more actively and effectively. The implementation of the initiatives included in the package is coordinated and monitored by the NATO core team which is made up of NATO experts. Experts sent by various NATO member states will help the Georgian side in the implementation of every initiative and in the development of new directions.

As of today, several NATO member states have already expressed their readiness to man the NATO core team. The majority of the members of the NATO-Georgia Common Training and Assessment Centre are also already known. It should be noted that NATO trainings will periodically be held in Georgia in terms of the aforementioned package.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the NATO Partnership Office of Georgia are actively involved in the process of the implementation of the package. The Office of the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, the National Security Council of Georgia and the National Council of Security and Crisis Management are also involved in the discussion of certain initiatives.

It should be noted that the document on the implementation of the NATO-Georgia essential package is top-secret. Hence, the Ministry of Defence of Georgia is unable to provide us with the detailed content of the document.

Conclusion Several state institutions are involved in the implementation of the NATO-Georgia essential package. FactCheck’s

study found that the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, did indeed use his constitutional right and addressed the Government of Georgia, asking it to add this issue to the cabinet meetings agenda; however, the Government of Georgia left both of Mr Margvelashvili’s requests without answer. In addition, the government did not specify the reason why it did not include this issue in its agenda.

FactCheck concludes that the statement of the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, is TRUE.

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