On March 28, 2019 online publication “Georgia and the World” published an interview with political scientist Tamar Kiknadze, headlined “Georgia should pay 2% of its GDP to NATO, while they don’t give us any guarantees in return”. The interview regards the visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Georgia on March 24. According to Tamar Kiknadze, “Georgia should pay 2% of its GDP to NATO, which in her words, Jens Stoltenberg masked by allocating amounts for defense means during joint press conference with Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze.
Tamar Kiknadze: „Georgia should pay two percent of its Gross Domestic Product for defence means and NATO is to implement them, which in fact means, that we should pay money to NATO. It is while Georgia is not a member of NATO. In addition, Article 5 of NATO Charter does not extend to Georgia. As you know, Article 5 is defined as “One for all and all for one“ and this principle represents a cornerstone of the military alliance… Jens Stoltenberg spoke about that and clearly stated that Georgia should pay two percent of its Gross Domestic Product if wants membership in NATO. He masked it by the phrase on allocation of amounts for defense means”.
Georgia itself manages the amount of money allocated on defense, while the authority responsible for it is the Ministry of Defense. It should be noted that spending 2% of GDP on defense is a standard of NATO and Georgia’s compliance with that standard will contribute to compatibility with NATO in defense sphere. The statement, made by Tamar Kiknadze, as if spending 2% of GDP is a sum paid to NATO, is interpretative and manipulative and aims to disseminate nihilism towards NATO.
- What did Jens Stoltenberg state?
According to Jens Stoltenberg: “I welcome your commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defense. And I congratulate Georgia for spending 20% of the defense budget on equipment and modernization. This strengthens your military and your contribution to regional security. I welcome your efforts in all these areas. And I encourage you to continue making full use of all the opportunities for coming closer to the NATO Alliance and to prepare for membership…”
- Georgia’s defense budget is adopted by Georgian Parliament and the Ministry of Defense is responsible for its management
Georgia’s defense budget, which aims to strengthen security and defense capability of the country, is approved by Georgian Parliament. As the Ministry of Defense of Georgia, it is an authority responsible for managing of the budget. According to the document, accompanying 2019 budget -“Expected outcomes and indicators of the projects envisaged in the state budget of 2019”- the projects planned in defense sphere are implemented only by the Ministry of Defense, although with partners, including cooperation with NATO.
Source: Expected outcomes and indicators of the programs envisaged in the state budget of 2019
- Allocating 2% of GDP on defense is a NATO standard
Allocating 2% of GDP for defense means is a NATO standard. Georgia’s compliance with noted standard will contribute to compatibility with NATO in defense sphere and is important on the way of integration into North-Atlantic Alliance.
It should be noted that Georgia was the first among the partner countries to present all the required documents in 2004 and North-Atlantic Council approved Georgia’s Individual Partnership Action Plan. The document provides the obligations, related to foreign and security policy, conflict resolution and stipulation, that countries aspiring to membership in NATO should spend no less than 2% of their GDP for defense means.
Prepared by Lusine Pichikyan
Regional Network of the Media Literacy Lab