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Stoltenberg Expresses NATO Support For Georgia, Urges Russian Troop Pullout

Stoltenberg Expresses NATO Support For Georgia, Urges Russian Troop Pullout

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will step up its cooperation with the Georgian coastguard to counter the "increased Russian presence" in the Black Sea, alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday.

The secretary general stated that the implementation of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package was marking "impressive progress". "We have maintained economic sanctions and use military lines of communication", he said, commenting on the outcome of the discussion of relations with Russian Federation.

NATO-Georgia Commission meeting has been held in Brussels, within the alliance's foreign ministerial, which was described as "very constructive" by NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

"We will also look at other areas, such as the issues of (conducting) a hybrid war and others that can be raised within the framework of NATO-Russia Council (NRC) and political dialogue with Russia", he said.

"Our Joint Training and Evaluation Centre in Georgia is up and running, and the NATO-funded Defence Institution Building School in Georgia has already trained around a thousand soldiers", he added.

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The move follows Nato's announcement in February that it was stepping up its air and maritime presence in the Black Sea, as part of deterrence measures following the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

"We are strengthening collective defense, while remaining open to dialogue".

In late July, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Georgia in a trip timed to correspond with the Noble Partner 2017 military exercises that featured some 1,600 U.S., 800 Georgian, and other allied troops in a show of defiance to Moscow.

New agreements were reached with the European Union regarding increased military mobility, strengthened information exchange in counter-terrorism operations and coordinated support for partner countries, and more promotion of women's role in peace and security.

Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister participates in the meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers.