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Tag: Georgia

Revisiting the 2008 Russo-Georgian War can offer lessons for today

An interview with Ekaterina Tkeshelashvili, Georgia’s former minister of foreign affairs, deputy prime minister and state minister for reintegration. Interviewer: Jakub Bornio

JAKUB BORNIO: I would like to start with the NATO Summits in Bucharest (2008) and Strasbourg/Kehl (2009). Back then, the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Georgia and Ukraine was rejected. At the same time, both countries were promised that they could become members of the Alliance at some point in the future. Do you interpret these events as a success or rather a failure?

EKATERINA TKESHELASHVILI: Bucharest was a crossroads. The decisions made at Bucharest were not simple ones and have to be looked at from various perspectives. A coin always has two sides. Two aspects are particularly important. First is timing. This was the first time when, in a consolidated way, the government of the United States really pushed for a Membership Action Plan for both Georgia and Ukraine. This generated and strengthened support from the allies. However, this was not true for all, particularly those concerned with the deterioration of relations with Russia.

February 15, 2022 - Ekaterina Tkeshelashvili Jakub Bornio

Georgia. The cradle of viticulture

Georgia has over 525 indigenous grape varieties, which is roughly 1/6th of the world’s total grape species. Approximately 40 varieties are officially grown for commercial viticulture production. While Georgian wine has been known locally for centuries, its global consumption is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Georgia lies in the oldest wine-producing region in the world, with Georgian viticulture tracing back to over 8,000 years of grape cultivation and winemaking. While excavating a Neolithic village just 50 kilometres south of Tbilisi in the south-eastern region called Kvemo Kartli, archaeologists found prehistoric winemaking artefacts, specifically, clay vessel pieces containing residues of the world's oldest wine dating back to the 6th millennium BC.

February 15, 2022 - Natalia Mosashvili

Why Eurasia matters to the West

Whilst a number of states have recently expressed their desire to support Ukraine, many internal critics have challenged this outlook. The West must now commit to the region in order to avoid further conflict.

January 24, 2022 - Mark Temnycky

The position of Georgia within the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Georgia has great interest in advancing peaceful and neighbourly relations with the other countries of the South Caucasus. Now, there is an opportunity to strengthen ties among the three countries. However, a realistic approach towards these relations is needed to achieve modest success in the short and medium-terms.

The main aim of Georgian policy in the South Caucasus is to sustain peace and stability while ensuring neighbourly relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Tbilisi adhered to this approach during the so-called Second Nagorno-Karabakh War last year. In particular, the statement of the National Security Council of Georgia published on October 3rd 2020 serves as a proof of such a commitment. This statement stresses that the active armed conflict should come to an end as soon as possible.

December 2, 2021 - Victor Kipiani

After the Soviet Union: a melancholy of unwanted experiences

When perestroika emerged and the Soviet Union gradually collapsed, a lot of people fell prey to great illusions. Many believed that the disintegration of the Soviet Union would bring the “American Dream” to the desert of post-communism. Inspired by Hollywood movies, they saw capitalism as the road to becoming rich, powerful and independent. But what they missed is that not everyone is happy in Hollywood films.

On the eve of the post-Soviet era, there was a strong belief that everyone would be happy in the new capitalist “paradise”. However, it is clear now that this paradise of capitalism does not and cannot exist. I was a child when communism failed in the Soviet Union and I remember the horrors of the new capitalist order that emerged after communist rule. Of course capitalism produces wealth, but it also has dramatic side effects, such as inequality, social injustice and poverty. In short, capitalism is not a paradise for the many but it certainly is for the few.

December 1, 2021 - Bakar Berekashvili

Reimagining the Eastern Partnership: It is time for the European Union to embrace the Associated Trio

Many of the EU’s closest neighbours are now going in opposite directions. Whilst some are actively rejecting integration, the states of the Associated Trio continue to express interest. Brussels would be wise to acknowledge such enthusiasm.

October 22, 2021 - Nick Lokker

The biggest challenge in Georgia right now is the state of democracy

An interview with Khatia Dekanoidze, a leader of the main Georgian opposition party – United National Movement and candidate for mayor of Kutaisi, the second biggest city in Georgia. Interviewer: Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

October 14, 2021 - Khatia Dekanoidze Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

Journalism is becoming an increasingly dangerous profession in Georgia

Media freedom in Georgia has had a turbulent history. It is worth remembering the raid on the Imedi TV station by special forces and its closure during the Saakashvili era, or the year-long dispute over ownership rights of Rustavi 2. However, there has never been a simultaneous physical attack on over 50 media employees like the one on July 5th. Is the freedom of speech under serious threat in Georgia?

September 14, 2021 - Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

Is the Georgian Dream committed to democracy and European integration?

Georgia is currently undergoing a political crisis which has led to an unprecedented amount of European Union involvement in resolving it. The mediation of the crisis, led by the president of the European Council, has demonstrated how important Georgia had become for the EU. Yet, the government’s decision to completely annul the deal has sent signals that it may be deviating from its pro-EU path.

After coming to power in 2012, the Georgian Dream party officially set out to uphold democratic values and support Georgia’s European integration. However, after the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union and obtaining visa-free travel for Georgian citizens to Schengen Area states, the Georgian Dream party soon started to display authoritarian tendencies as it harassed independent media and politicised the judiciary system in order to weaken the opposition. The party was utilised as a tool by its tycoon founder, Bidzina Ivanishvili, for adapting legislation to fit his personal business interests.

September 12, 2021 - Soso Dzamukashvili

Georgia’s argument over ‘Michel’ is finished, at least for now

While the democratic process in Georgia benefits from the advice and encouragement of friends and partners, its politics must find its way back to consensus and trust building on its own terms.

August 16, 2021 - Archil Sikharulidze

Crisis like a dream

Georgia has been trapped in a political, economic and social black hole. It is affected by crisis after crisis. There is no prospect for improvement. Thus, at a certain point apathy may turn into social eruption.

For many months now Georgian politicians have been busy. After last October’s parliamentary elections, the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition got themselves stuck in a months-long jam from which they could not escape. The opposition accused the authorities of rigging elections and they boycotted the parliament, while the ruling coalition downplayed the accusations and claimed the opposition was unable to accept defeat.

June 23, 2021 - Wojciech Wojtasiewicz

Closing the window of opportunity for Russia?

The unclear NATO membership status of Georgia and Ukraine creates ambiguity and vulnerability in the ‘grey zone’ area of the Black Sea.

June 7, 2021 - Silvie Leštinská

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