Chronology of Diplomatic Relations
Diplomatic relations between Georgia and the Kingdom of Norway were established in 1918 and restored on 5 June 1992.
Diplomatic mission of Georgia to the Kingdom of Norway was opened in 2012, and the embassy of the Kingdom of Norway to Georgia – in July 2019.
Fields of Cooperation
Georgia and the Kingdom of Norway enjoy close friendly and partner relations marked by increasing dynamics.
Bilateral relations cover a broad spectrum of cooperation, including in the political, economic, defense, cultural and educational areas.
Of particular importance, in terms of intensifying bilateral relations between the two countries, is the opening of the Kingdom of Norway in Tbilisi in July 2019. Ambassador Helene Sand Andresen has been accredited to Georgia since September 2019. With a view to deepening its relations with Norway, Georgia actively uses the Institute of Honorary Consuls. In 2019 and 2020 Georgia appointed honorary consuls in three Norwegian cities: Tromsø, Bergen and Stavanger.
The high-level political dialogue between the two countries has become regular over the recent period. In November 2018, after an almost 6-year-break, Nordic tour of the Foreign Minister of Georgia took place. Within the tour, the minister also visited Norway. The State Secretary Audun Halvorsen of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid two working visits to Georgia. The Foreign Ministers of the two countries held a telephone conversation in August 2020. In April 2021, political consultations were held at the level of foreign ministries.
Strong accent needs to be placed on Norway’s firm support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and the non-recognition policy with respect to occupied territories. Norway supports Georgia’s NATO membership and is actively involved in the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration process.
The inter-parliamentary relationship between the two countries was further bolstered by the setting up of the group of support for Georgia and Ukraine (8 MPs) at the Norwegian Parliament in 2018. The group was created at the initiative of the former President of the Storting (Norwegian Parliament), Olemic Thommessen. The Group of Friendship with Norway chaired by Rati Ionatamashvili is functioning at the Parliament of Georgia.
Sectoral cooperation between the two countries is dynamic. Special note should be taken of the successful cooperation in the areas of defence, energy, inclusive education and cultural heritage. Particularly high value should be placed on international development cooperation.
Cooperation in the field of defense has been very active since 2010. Norway is actively involved in implementing the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package and leads the initiative of the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Assessment Center (JTEC).
Of great importance is inter-agency cooperation in the energy sector. In 2018, the Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. The Memorandum envisages the implementation of 5-year grant project (budget – 3.9 mln USD) aimed at: 1) supporting the government of Georgia in the energy sector; 2_ promoting the development of renewable energy sources; 3) professional development of the personnel.
In order to further deepen economic cooperation, the Georgian-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce was launched on 25 March 2019, which is focused on such important sectors to Georgia as energy, and more specifically – renewable energy; agriculture; tourism and real estate; so-called startups, etc.
The comprehensive Free Trade Agreement signed by Georgia on 27 June 2016 with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) came into force for Norway on 1 September 2017.
The Norwegian side has for many years been participating in the development of inclusive education in Georgia, including by providing financial, as well as expert support. With the Norwegian Government’s financial support, in 2009-2011 the Ministry of Education of Georgia implemented important project “Development of inclusive education at 9 public schools in the regions of Georgia”. From 2013, with the support of the Norwegian side, the principles of inclusive education continued to be implemented in vocational education. Special note should be taken of the ongoing inclusive education support programme launched on 19 March 2021, with the support of the Norwegian Government, by the Ministry of Education and Science, together with the UN Children’s Fund. Within the framework of the 3-year programme (2021-2023, budget: 3 mln USD), special attention will be paid to children with disabilities, national minorities and vulnerable children.
The Norwegian Government allocated to the International School of Economics at the Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University 500.000 USD for 2006-2011 and another 500.000 USD for 2011-2014, to train new generation of students in environment protection, energy and economics.
The Centre of Scandinavian Studies at Tbilisi State University provides classes in the Norwegian language. With the Norwegian side’s support, an increasing number of students are able to continue their studies at the Oslo University, under the short-term and long-term programmes.
Particularly high value needs to be placed on Georgia-Norway cooperation in the area of cultural heritage since 2005. Many important projects have been carried out under this cooperation, with Norway’s financial and expert support, including the rehabilitation of the Chitaia ethnographic open-air museum in Tbilisi and the reconstruction of the district of Bethlehem, digitation of Georgia’s cultural heritage.
Since 2008, Tbilisi State Conservatoire has been cooperating with the Norwegian Academy of Music. As a result of this cooperation, music recording studio was set up, the conservatoire’s library -replenished and updated; many Georgian musicians were sent to the Norwegian music academy.
With the support of the Norwegian legal experts (NORLAG) and the Oslo Deichmann Municipal Library, a library was launched in penitentiary facility N5.
With the support of the Norwegian legal experts (NORLAG) in Georgia, the Norwegian Government took an active part in improving the justice system and the reform of the penitentiary system in Georgia. In addition, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) worked to help IDPs. In 2013 the NORLAG`s and NRC mission’s mandates expired.
Particularly noteworthy is years-long development cooperation with the Norwegian side, which has considerably contributed to Georgia’s institutional and social-economic development.
2022 marks the 30th anniversary since the restoration of diplomatic relations between Georgia and the Kingdom of Norway.