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US pauses military exercises with Georgia as relations with Tbilisi deteriorate

by Abbey Fenbert July 6, 2024 2:37 AM 1 min read
An aerial view of the Pentagon, May 15, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force Staff)
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The United States has indefinitely postponed joint military exercises with Georgia amid a comprehensive evaluate of its bilateral relationship with Tbilisi, the U.S. Defense Department announced on July 5.

The U.S. government initiated a full review of its relationship with Georgia on May 30, soon after the Georgian parliament passed a controversial  bill requiring organizations that receive foreign funding to be labeled as "foreign agents."

The joint exercise "Noble Partner," originally scheduled to take place in Georgia from July 25 to Aug. 6., will be put on hold indefinitely, the Defense Department announced.

The Georgian government falsely accused the U.S. of pressuring Georgia "to open a second front against Russia to alleviate pressure on Ukraine," prompting the decision, according to the Pentagon.

The decision was not made "lightly," the Defense Department said.

"The United States will continue to partner with the Georgian Defense Forces as we look to continue strengthening Georgia's ability to safeguard its sovereignty and maintain its territorial integrity," the briefing said.

The U.S. implemented the first tranche of sanctions against Georgian government officials on June 6, imposing travel restrictions on individuals "responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy in Georgia."

Politico: US considering significant trade, military deals with Georgia if it reverses democratic backsliding
The proposed measures would offer Georgia increased access to U.S. markets, a military support package, and the liberalization of the visa regime for Georgian citizens.

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