German Bundeswehr uses Georgia as hub for withdrawal from Afghanistan. The country cooperates with EU and NATO, but, increasingly, also with Russia.
BERLIN/TBILISI (Own report) - Since recently Germany has a temporary airlift base at its disposal in Georgia. According to the German Air Force, the base in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, serves as hub for the Bundeswehr's withdrawal from Afghanistan. The fact that the country has not only deepened its ties with the EU through an association agreement, but is also intensifying relations with NATO explains why, of all places, Germany uses a base in Georgia. Georgia, for example, has participated in the "Defender Europe 2021" maneuvers. This is in contrast to the domestic political development in that Caucasus country, which has enhanced its relations with Russia since its change of government in 2012 - under the protests of nationalist or pro-Western oriented milieus. The Green Party-affiliated Heinrich-Böll Foundation already speaks of Georgia's "creeping Russification." According to the Foundation's representative in the South Caucasus, the EU's policy in the region needs a stronger foreign and military policy component - including eventual "peace missions." Read more
TBILISI/BERLIN (Own report) - A large-scale military exercise - with German Bundeswehr participation - aimed at Georgia’s integration into NATO operations, will end on Wednesday. This is the "Noble Partner" exercise's fourth itineration since 2015, extending the already bloated war exercises, held by US and NATO troops in Eastern and Southeastern Europe since the escalation of the Ukraine conflict, to the southern Caucasus. Systematic efforts to adapt Georgian armed forces to the western military alliance's standards are thereby being renewed. Impetus for this adaptation was provided following the "Rose Revolution" coup in 2003, the Tbilisi-instigated Russian Georgian war in August 2008, and finally since the intensification of the West's power struggle with Russia in 2014. Whereas Georgia seeks to join NATO, high-ranking Bundeswehr experts are calling for restraint. This step would be a "red line for Russia," a professor at the Bundeswehr University warns; "Nobody in NATO wants to die for Tiflis." Read more