United States Congress. Photo: wikipedia
The U.S. military budget for 2018, passed by the House in July and adopted by the Senate on September 18, “reaffirms United States support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” and calls on NATO member states to “continue support for the NATO Membership Action Plan for Georgia.”
The U.S. National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 says that “a resurgent Russia has turned from partner to antagonist,” and that “countries along Russia’s periphery, especially Ukraine and Georgia, are under threat from Moscow’s malign influence and military aggression.”
The Congress points out that “in 2008, the Russian Federation fomented conflict in Georgia,” and “is directing combined Russian-Separatist units in eastern Ukraine, actively inciting violence and prolonging the most significant conflict in Europe.”
It also says the U.S. should keep up its support for Georgia, which is “a valued friend of the United States and has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to advancing the mutual interests of both countries, including the deployment of Georgian forces as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the Multi-National Force in Iraq.”
“Despite the losses suffered, as a NATO partner of ISAF, Georgia is engaged in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan with the second largest contingent on the ground,” reads the document.
The Congress “reaffirms United States support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders, and does not recognize the independence of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions currently occupied by the Russian Federation.” It also supports continued cooperation between the United States and Georgia, and calls on NATO member states to “continue support for the NATO Membership Action Plan for Georgia.”
The National Defense Authorization Act comes less than two months after the adoption of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, which institutes sanctions against Russia, and also refers to Russia’s hostile actions against its neighbors, in particular Ukraine and Georgia.
The new budget will enter into force with President Donald Trump’s signature.