Georgia has successfully dealt with the COVID-19 outbreak but now must meet the task of conducting free, fair, and transparent parliamentary elections on October 31 and dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic.
Georgia's status as a post-Soviet democratic leader is under challenge. A flawed presidential election, use of force against protesters, and political manipulations have strained public confidence and brought mounting public protests. Domestic calm may hinge on improving political dialogue and conducting free and fair parliamentary elections next year.
Disputes over the regional order in post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia are at the core of the breakdown in relations between Russia and the West and have created major challenges for the states caught in between. A new approach to the order could boost security and prosperity in the region.
The West has only modest capacity to influence circumstances in most post-Soviet countries. In Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova, however, the West has the potential to make a real difference by supporting civil society and improved governance.
Democratic bright spots are emerging in Armenia and Georgia despite their being wedged between less-than-democratic regional powers. Both countries seek to consolidate democratic gains and overcome poverty while managing daunting challenges from Russia and separatist conflicts. While pursuing these priorities, the countries deserve continued, strong Western support.
This Perspective proposes a new approach to the regional order in post-Soviet Europe and Eurasia that would foster greater stability in the region and reduce dangerous tensions in Russia-West relations.
Since its renewed independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia has made steady progress toward full European and Euro-Atlantic integration, and stabilized relations with Russia. Continuing on this path is a key test of whether it is still possible for reforming former Soviet countries to integrate into the Euro-Atlantic community.
The perspectives collected in these conference proceedings explore alternatives to the current approaches to the regional order for the states "in between" the West and Russia -- Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
Georgia is an emerging democracy in a difficult region with mainly authoritarian regimes nearby. To overcome severe challenges from Russian military occupation and economic weakness, it deserves sustained Western support.
As the political-military challenge from China grows, Taiwan's reserve force may need to play a more prominent role in Taipei's approach to deterring Chinese aggression. Changing its reserve force size, structure, roles, missions, equipment, and training could help Taiwan offset PLA advantages.
Given the dangerous environment and the small size and relative military weakness of Georgia, it wisely pursues a good neighbor policy in all directions. Still, the country must improve its defense posture and for Georgia, the main security balancer is the United States.
Georgia is poised to make big changes to reinvigorate its democracy and economy, but it needs support to deter risks and advance progress. With one-fifth of its territory occupied by Russia and facing risks every day, Georgia needs more Western aid, including military training, technology, and defensive arms.
In implementing the prospective Iran nuclear agreement, the West cannot forget its engagement in the vulnerable South Caucasus. The Iran deal changes the equation for all three countries and perhaps opens new opportunities.
The West's most pressing task is to help Ukraine defend itself and survive economic catastrophe. But the West also needs a broader strategy to discourage future Russian coercion of neighbors, help them protect themselves, and counter President Vladimir Putin's false narrative about Western intentions and lack of political will.
Leadership squabbles and instincts for retribution are testing Georgia's democracy. If leaders do not come together to strengthen the political system and governance, Georgia's future could hang in the balance.
“Frozen conflicts” describe places where fighting took place and has come to an end, yet no overall political solution, such as a peace treaty, has been reached. Ukraine is likely to host such conflicts for some time. Georgia's experience offers lessons for Ukraine.
A normalized Georgia-Russia relationship remains in Georgia's, Russia's, and America's interest. Going forward, the U.S. can play a role by calibrating its own interaction with both states to promote improved relations between them, and avoid exacerbating tensions, writes Olga Oliker.
The Medical Insurance Program for the Poor in the republic of Georgia provides a free and extensive benefit package and operates through a publicly funded voucher program, enabling beneficiaries to choose their own private insurance company. This research looks at costs, usage and health behaviors under this system.