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Georgia

CrisisWatch Georgia

Unchanged Situation

Discord surfaced between govt and opposition, threatening implementation of April agreement, while govt and breakaway territories engaged in meetings to resolve issues. Discord and political rivalry between govt and opposition challenged implementation of EU- and U.S.-brokered April agreement that ended months-long political standoff. Notably, opposition MPs – most of whom rejoined parliament late April – 9 June opposed ruling Georgian Dream party’s draft bill on amnesty, which includes protection for police officers charged with “abuse of power” during June 2019 unrest when thousands protested in capital Tbilisi after Russian MP addressed session in parliament building from seat of Georgian parliament speaker and spoke in Russian. Ruling party MPs in turn 11 June voted down alternative law proposed by opposition parties. Meanwhile, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) co-chairs, EU and UN 6-10 June held discussions on humanitarian and security issues with officials from breakaway territories and govt in capital Tbilisi, South Ossetia’s de facto capital Tskhinvali, Abkhazia’s de facto capital Sukhumi and Russian capital Moscow. Georgian representatives raised imprisonment of four Georgian citizens in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while South Ossetian representatives raised continued discontent with police outpost established in 2019 at Ossetian village of Tsnelisi area at line of separation. OSCE Sec Gen Helga Schmid 14-16 June visited Georgia, including Tsitsagiantkari village at line of separation with South Ossetia, and took part in 100th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting. Fifty-third round of Geneva International Discussions 29 June began; Georgian delegation sought to raise issue of Georgian detainees in breakaway territories while South Ossetian and Abkhazian sides concentrated on non-use of force agreement.
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Reports & Briefings

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

Latest Updates

Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Time to Talk Trade

Informal trade is increasing between Georgia and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and between Abkhazia and countries outside the region. Trade alone cannot transform the parties’ core political differences. But talks among them on mutually beneficial commerce could open lines of communication long cemented shut.

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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. 

Isolation of Post-Soviet Conflict Regions Narrows the Road to Peace

Unresolved conflicts and breakaway territories divide five out of six of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership countries, most of them directly backed by the Russian Federation. But a policy of isolating the people living in these conflict regions narrows the road to peace.

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.