Georgia – EU/ US/Russia/Ukraine Relations and Georgian Domestic Policy – Update as of 16/12/23

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The European Council has decided to grant candidate status for European membership to Georgia. This was confirmed by Charles Michel, the President of the European Council on December 14 via X. This event was described as a “monumental milestone” by President Salomé Zourabishvili.

The same day, the Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, first congratulated “every citizen” of his country for this day which he described as “historic“, before thanking Ursula von der Leyen, Charles Michel and Oliver Varhelyi, the European Commissioner for Enlargement. He also wanted to thank the founder of the ruling “Georgian Dream” party of which he is a member, Bidzina Ivanishvili,whose governance [according to him] made this day, this victory and this success possible.” He called such an event a crowning achievement of successful governance” of the ruling team and declared the next day: “together we defeated the internal and external enemies of our country” in Tbilisi’s Freedom Square, punctuating his speech with a “Long live united Georgia! “.

Which of course was not to the liking of opposition leader and MNU president Levan Khabeishvili, who declared nothing less than that his party would continue to work hard, to fight even harder, and with everyone of [his] partners and friends, to defeat the Russian regime which today occupies [the] government and who preferred to pay tribute to Mikheil Saakashvili, founder of his party, by declaring: “he was the main giver of tone on the European path, obviously, because of his political imprisonment. The end is near and we will not have political prisoners held hostage by Kremlin agents in European Georgia.”

A proof that the polarization of the Georgian political climate which delayed the granting of candidate status to Georgia is not resolved, far from it!

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