The recent killing of a Georgian by Russian troops brought into spotlight Moscow’s policy of encroaching of Georgian land. It was also an attempt to sabotage Tbilisi’s EU integration.
The dismantling of the Nagorno Karabakh republic was the most important change in the South Caucus since Turkey (re)emerged as a powerhouse there. More changes might follow.
As experts warn that Georgia will not be granted EU candidate status this year, authorities allege there was a coup plot and the parliament impeaches the president.
Georgia is increasingly economically dependent on Russia, which generates security risks for Tbilisi. There are also concerns that Moscow is circumventing Western sanctions through Georgia.
The Georgian Dream proposes an anti-oligarch law to unblock Georgia's path to the EU. The law protects Bidzina Ivanishvili and was criticized by the Venice Commission.
While Georgia hopes to be granted EU-candidate status, its government seems unwilling to reform the judiciary, as demanded by both Brussels and the US.
Georgian President Salome Zourabishvili is increasingly distancing herself from the ruling Georgian Dream party that helped her win the elections. Zourabishvili opposes the Georgian Dream increasingly anti-Western rhetoric and seems poised to challenge the Georgian Dream with a new political movement that would bring Georgia closer to the EU.
Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream was recently forced to drop a Russian-inspired bill. The party seems determined to return to this project, which may compromise Georgia's European path, but is promoted by Russian propaganda. The problem for the Georgian Dream - and for Moscow - is that most of the population opts for Euro-Atlantic integration.
Formally, Tbilisi maintains its course towards integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, but the movement towards the West has been on inertia lately, while Moscow's influence is only growing. The ruling party, founded by oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, increasingly links national interests with his personal interests, be it political or business related. At a decisive moment for Georgia's future, such a policy may prove fatal.
Russia’s imperialistic drive is the result of policies in the “liberal” ‘90s, which the West and Ukraine turned a blind eye to at the time, the Russian independent media writes. Independent publications also claim that, by invading Ukraine, Russia brought European closer together. Previously, Moscow was bankrolling MEPs to gather support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Independent journalists have also analyzed the attitude of Russian artists towards the war, and noticed that those artists who are particularly popular with the younger generations refrained from supporting the war and even criticized it.