Georgia

CrisisWatch Georgia

Unchanged Situation

Breakaway South Ossetia reopened crossing points with Georgia proper after three years, tensions with U.S. ambassador persisted, and EU published review of govt’s progress on reforms needed for accession. De facto South Ossetia security council 18 Aug decided to resume functioning of key crossings points with Georgia proper from 20-30 of each month using special passes; crossing points had been largely closed for almost three years following tensions over Tbilisi’s decision in 2019 to install police outpost near South Ossetian village of Tsnelisi at line that separates entity from rest of Georgia. Georgian security service and EU monitoring mission 19, 22 Aug respectively praised opening of crossings, which remain vital for ethnic Georgians living in South Ossetia. New de facto President of South Ossetia Alan Gagloev continued new govt appointments; notably, 15 Aug named Akhsar Jioev de facto foreign minister; 23 Aug named former Russian military serviceman Marat Pavlov de facto defence minister. Tensions with U.S. persisted as Georgia’s ruling party and its political allies continued verbal exchanges with U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan over former’s accusations that Western countries wanted “to drag” Georgia into war with Russia; also accused Degnan and other U.S., EU diplomats of supporting opposition; notably, in statement published 11 Aug, four MPs allied with ruling party accused Degnan of backing “the radical agenda of the radical opposition”. EU 13 Aug released Association Agreement implementation report, reviewing Georgia’s implementation of reforms needed for EU accession. Report complimented country’s progress toward closer economic integration but criticised its poor handling of 2021 local elections and other issues that “threaten to undermine the country’s democratic foundations”. Ruling party 30 Aug accused opposition of trying “their best to sabotage” implementation of EU conditions for candidate status. Syrian FM Faisal Mekdad visited breakaway Abkhazia 24-25 Aug, met with de facto president Aslan Bzhania, saying Abkhazia “relies on Syria's support to expand contacts with Middle East countries that maintain friendly relations with Syria”; Mekdad promised to work to further develop relations with Abkhazia.

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In The News

13 Jun 2018
The Georgian government has been in crisis for quite a long time. Mr. Ivanishvili’s comeback and popular protests are just symptoms of this process. The New York Times

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
12 Mar 2018
Over the last three years, we have been seeing a serious decline in the situation in the districts [of South Ossetia] mainly populated by ethnic Georgians. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
5 Feb 2018
There was a social media campaign two years ago [in Abkhazia] encouraging people to boycott the funerals of anyone who died after seeking medical care in Tbilisi. EurasiaNet

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus

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