On July 21 a seminar was held at the International Centre for Defence Studies, where Estonian experts shared experience with Georgian officials on how to efficiently implement the Annual National Plans (ANP) required for the accession to NATO.
Elene Khostaria, Deputy Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia led the Georgian delegation, which included officials from the Department for Coordination of Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia, and Ministry of Defence.
According to Kristjan Prikk, Director of the International Co-operation Department of Estonian Ministry of Defence, the knowledge of Estonia as a new member of NATO is rather unique, which is why Estonia can greatly contribute to the achievement of the security ambitions declared by Georgia.
“When Estonia applied for membership in NATO, our state officials obtained much experience valuable for Georgian officials today. For example, an important touchstone for Estonia was how to prepare ANP-s suitable and comprehensible for NATO and at the same time guarantee the unanimous implementation of these plans from the domestic viewpoint,” Prikk explained.
One of the experts from the seminar - Piret Paljak, who in 2000-2004 was directly related to the preparation of the ANP-s of Estonia - said that in the case of annual national plans, the process of the preparation and realisation of the plans is very important. “It seems that Georgian officials have understood this well – just like in Estonia during our accession period, great attention is being paid on involving all state boards into the preparation and implementation of the ANP-s,” Paljak said.
At the seminar held yesterday, the experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonian Defence Forces, the International Centre for Defence Studies and the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association also shared their experience.
Together with Ukraine and Montenegro, Georgia is one of the priority target-states of Estonian defence aid, where the Estonian state officials share the know-how obtained during the accession to NATO. Afghanistan is also one of the priority target-states of Estonian defence aid, where Estonia has shared wider security policy and administration-related know-how.
In addition to extensive development cooperation, Estonia has, in the framework of bilateral defence aid, financed the training of Georgian members of the Defence Forces in the Baltic Defence College, donated an infantry training simulation system to Georgia and contributed to several trust funds established for helping Georgia.
Estonian experts advised Georgia on integration into NATO