U.S. President Barack Obama has announced about planned USD 1 billion fund to boost its military support to NATO’s Eastern European allies, as well as partners, among them Georgia.
During a visit to Poland, the U.S. President urged the Congress on June 3 to support the USD 1 billion “European Reassurance Initiative” to increase U.S. military deployments in Eastern European allies and to support partners.
“We’ll increase the number of American personnel – Army and Air Force units – continuously rotating through allied countries in Central and Eastern Europe. And we will be stepping up our partnerships with friends like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia as they provide for their own defense,” President Obama said at a joint news conference with his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski in Warsaw.
“I’m calling on Congress to approve up to USD 1 billion to support this effort, which will be a powerful demonstration of America’s unshakeable commitment to our NATO allies,” said Obama, who has started his four-day visit to Europe.
The White House said that the European Reassurance Initiative will enable the United States in the next year to undertake series of measure, which, among others, will also include building of “partner capacity of close friends such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine so they can better work alongside the United States and NATO, as well as provide for their own defense.”
Among the primary measures, offered in the plan, are increased exercises, training, and rotational presence of the U.S. troops across Europe but especially in NATO’s Eastern European allies, as well as increased participation by the U.S. Navy in NATO naval force deployments, including “more persistent deployments” to the Black and Baltic seas.
Officials in Tbilisi have welcomed the announcement.
This is a “very concrete message, which will yield very concrete results,” Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said. She also said that consultations on details have yet to start.
“This is a very important message for Georgia, for strengthening of our long-term security and stability,” Alex Petriashvili, the state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said in a written statement. “I am sure that consultations will be intensified in this direction both bilaterally with the U.S. and multilaterally with other partners.”