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Georgia 2016

Published Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Georgia has signed its Association Agreement with the EU and Georgian leaders have described this as a historic chance to return to Georgia’s natural European environment

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The 2008 war with Russia over the breakaway territory of South Ossetia was one of the first signs of a new, more assertive foreign policy from Russia. But since then attention has been turned away from this small country in the South Caucasus and its ‘frozen conflict’.

Georgia has continued to pursue a pro-Western path despite Russian opposition and has been relatively successful at enacting reforms to improve its governance and economy. Although there are some problems with the protection of human rights, Georgians have been able to exercise real choice at elections and the media are lively.

Russia has continued to apply pressure to Georgia, and the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflicts are still very much alive. Georgia complains of “creeping annexation” of its territory.

Georgia holds parliamentary elections in October 2016. The winners will probably remain committed to a pro-Western course. Many observers think, however, that Georgia could use some support from Western allies.

Commons Briefing papers SN06938

Author: Ben Smith

Topics: Economic situation, Elections, EU external relations, International politics and government

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