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Georgia

CrisisWatch Georgia

Unchanged Situation

Parliament 26 Sept adopted controversial amendments to constitution, after opposition parties and president united to present their own amendments, some of which ruling party accepted 22 Sept, including timing for transfer to fully proportional parliamentary system. Primary schools in breakaway republic South Ossetia (SO) reportedly using exclusively Russian for years 1-4 since start of new school year. SO de facto leadership said change was to help local Georgian population, which frequently complains about discrimination, to finally define their future – whether within SO or moving to Georgia. Georgia early Sept hosted military exercises with U.S. and several regional countries (excluding Armenia).

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Reports & Briefings

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Ukraine Flare-Up Lays Bare Fears in Europe’s East

Renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine is quickly turning into a litmus test of Russia’s intentions in backing Ukrainian separatist rebels, and the real willingness of the West, in particular the United States, to support Kyiv. Fears over Washington’s wavering may also cause positions to harden in the protracted conflicts in Europe’s East, most immediately in Georgia. 

Georgia: Making Cohabitation Work

Whether the smooth transfer of power Georgia achieved after October’s bitter election sets a standard for democracy in its region depends on whether the new government can strengthen the independence and accountability of state institutions in what remains a fragile, even potentially explosive political climate.

Georgia's Constitutional Changes

Georgia is in the midst of transitioning from a presidential to a mixed parliamantary system, in which much power will lie with the office of the Prime Minister. Elections later this year will determine whether current President Mikheil Saakashvili's party, United National Movement, will retain control of government. Medea Turashvili, Caucasus analyst for the International Crisis Group, discusses what implications this might have on Georgia's domestic and foreign policy.