Minister of Defence Jüri Luik (IRL) met with his Georgian colleague Levan Izoria in Tbilisi on Friday, where the two discussed the security situation in the Black Sea Region, broad-based bilateral support for cooperation in cyber defense and international operations, as well as cooperation within the framework of NATO's partnership policy.
At their meeting, Luik emphasized Estonia's support for Georgia's territorial integrity, and recognized steps taken by Georgia in carrying out reforms in the defense field, adding that Estonia's support for Georgia's broad-based security sector reforms would continue as well, according to a ministry press release.
The two ministers also signed a bilateral defense cooperation plan for 2018.
"Estonia and Georgia enjoy close bilateral defense cooperation," Luik highlighted. "We have participated in each other's military training exercises; Estonia supports the training of Georgian servicemembers: and cooperation in the field of cyber defense continues to grow stronger."
This year, Estonian servicemembers are slated to participate in the international training exercise Noble Partner 2018; Georgian servicemembers are to participate in the large-scale Estonian defense exercise Siil 2018.
"I am recognizing Georgia for having increased its defense expenditures to two percent of the GDP — this demonstrates that Georgia takes its national defense very seriously," noted the Estonian minister.
While in Tbilisi, Luik also visited Georgia's Cyber Security Bureau.
Within the framework of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) program, created following the Warsaw Summit, Estonia is managing the strengthening of Georgia's development in terms of capability in the field of cyber defence. "Within the framework of the program, we have offered Georgia cyber defense training and mapped their needs," Luik noted.
A live-fire cyber training exercise will also be held for Georgian experts in the framework of the Nordic-Baltic Assistance Program in the next few months.
Luik is scheduled to meet with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and visit the temporary border line near South Ossetia on Saturday.
Editor: Aili Vahtla