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Religion as a powerful foreign policy tool

Russia’s principal aim towards Georgia is to reverse its Euro-Atlantic integration strategy and return Tbilisi to the Kremlin’s political orbit. One of the main tools to achieve this aim is the use of the Orthodox Church, with the main narrative being that Russia is the last bastion of Christianity and conservative values in the world.

The conflict between Russia and Georgia dates back to 1801 when the Russian Empire annexed the eastern part of Georgia. The country was under the direct rule of the Tsarist regime until May 26th 1918 when Georgia regained its long-awaited independence as a consequence of Russia’s ongoing civil war. Yet Georgia’s democratic republic was short-lived. When the civil war ended in Russia, the Bolsheviks once again subdued the South Caucasus region, including Georgia.
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July 7, 2020 - Giorgi Jokhadze - Hot TopicsIssue 4 2020Magazine

Sameba Tbilis, largest orthodox Cathedral in Caucasus region. Officially the Georgian Orthodox Church supports the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, but in reality it opposes this direction because it believes the West is responsible for spreading anti-church propaganda. Photo: Georgia_2011_343b (CC) commons.wikimedia.org

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