CrisisWatch Georgia

Unchanged Situation

Ruling party did not secure enough votes to impeach President Zourabichvili; de facto leadership in breakaway Abkhazia announced Russian plans for naval base in region.

Ruling Georgian Dream party’s attempt to impeach president failed. Constitutional Court 16 Oct ruled in favour of Georgian Dream’s claim that President Zourabichvili violated constitution when she travelled to EU countries late Aug-early Sept, though three of nine judges dissented decision. Georgian Dream 18 Oct initiated impeachment hearings in parliament, but was unable to secure 100 votes needed to remove her from office. Impeachment attempt triggered criticism from European countries, notably France, and threatens Georgia’s prospects for candidate status.

Russian plans to build naval base in breakaway Abkhazia drew condemnation. Following 4 Oct meeting between leaders of Russia and breakaway Abkhazia, region’s de facto president Aslan Bzhania 5 Oct said Moscow is planning to construct naval base in Ochamchira town along Black Sea coast; announcement came after satellite images 1 Oct showed Moscow had withdrawn bulk of its Black Sea Fleet from Russian-annexed Crimea to safeguard it from Ukrainian attacks (see Ukraine). Tbilisi 5 Oct said move would constitute “flagrant violation of Georgia’s sovereignty”, which number of Western countries echoed; several civil society activists in Abkhazia warned region risks becoming entangled in Ukraine conflict.

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