French Aviso-Class Corvette Commandant Birot (F796), passed Turkish Straits and entered black sea last week, arrived Batumi port of Georgia on 22nd November for a port visit between November 22-25.
According to the Embassy of France at Georgia, the ship is visiting Batumi in the frames of French-Georgian defense cooperation.
The Embassy also reported that Ambassador of France to Georgia Diégo Colas, Defense Attaché Lieutenant-Colonel Danny Pith, and Commander of the ship Maxime Leroy, held meetings with regional authorities at Batumi on 22nd November.
On Monday, November 25, French sailors, representatives of Georgian Interior Ministry coast guards and Defense Ministry’s special operation forces are planned to hold joint marine training.
Tornike Rizhvadze, Head of Regional Government of Adjara, said such visits are of great importance for Georgia on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration. He also noted that frequent port calls of the partner countries, indicate their interest and support to overall reforms in the country, as well as the Black Sea security as a whole.
The ship is also visited by the 5th President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili on 23rd November. She shared this visit on Twitter and stated “Black Sea security is a priority for Georgia and for the West. The port call in Batumi by the “Commandant Birot” is one new step toward this goal. I am proud to have toured this French ship, which demonstrates the close partnership between France and Georgia.”
What is the main goal of France?
After the complicated incidents occurred at Syria, especially France has been questioning the position and composition of NATO, especially after NATO members cannot take a common attitude about Turkey’s position and the fluctuating U.S. decisions over Syria. France is claiming that Europe should have its own defence organization in case of possible disagreements over any issue with the U.S. and seems to take action individually.
As all we know, France doesn’t have a ship at SNMG-2 task force, when SNMG-2 visited and conducted drills at the Black Sea. While France doesn’t participate such organization under the NATO roof shoulder by shoulder with the U.S., their existence at the Black Sea and a visit to Georgia is quite remarkable.
It’s likely that France would be a new player in the region.