“In the Caucasus, where Russian forces occupy the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia continues to be a steadfast partner and contributor to global security,” U.S. Air Force Commander (EUCOM)/NATO Gen. Tod D. Wolters said in his statement on Tuesday.
General Tod D. Walters noted that “the Kremlin exerts influence over countries in the South Caucasus through manipulation of regional tensions and enduring military conflicts with all instruments of national power.”
“The Kremlin believes chronic instability in this area is central to regional hegemony. Russia maintains leverage over Georgia through its occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including its attempts to alter the administrative boundary lines of occupied territories, interfere with the transit of people and goods within Georgia’s sovereign territory, and complicate Georgia’s NATO membership aspirations,” the statement reads.
Gen. Tod D. Wolters further said that “strong bilateral and multi-lateral ties with European Allies, particularly with countries such as Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, are invaluable.”
Wolters accentuated “Georgia’s commitment of 870 soldiers in support of U.S. operations in Afghanistan.”
“Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to Operation RESOLUTE SUPPORT—NATO’s ongoing Afghanistan mission. USEUCOM assists Georgian forces in preparing for this mission through the Georgia Deployment Program. We continue to support Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity by improving their capability to generate and sustain capable defense forces through the Georgia Defense Readiness Program,” Gen. Tod D. Wolters stressed.