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“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Georgia’s proxy war with Russia has linguistic ripple effects
More than 10,000 Russians are fleeing to neighboring Georgia every day to escape being drafted into the war in Ukraine. The influx is exacerbating tensions going back to Soviet times.
The WorldOctober 7, 2022 · 1:00 PM EDT
- By Patrick Cox
Customers walk into the Dedaena Bar in Tbilisi past a QR code notice. Russian citizens are required to approve a series of online statements in order to be admitted to the bar.
Patrick Cox/The World
Lola Svanidze has lived in Georgia for four years. She says some Georgians swear at her in the street for speaking Russian.
Patrick Cox/The World
Lola Svanidze has lived in Georgia for four years, longer than most Russians.
Her father is Georgian, but she grew up in Russia. As a result, she doesn’t speak Georgian.
When Svanidze and her friends speak Russian in public, she said Georgians sometimes insult them and swear at them. She says that’s especially true since the war in Ukraine began.
“I understand if you feel aggressively toward people who sit in Russia right now and support this whole thing,” Svanidze said.
But she said that aggression directed at her and other Georgia-based Russians is misplaced.
Tens of thousands of Russians have entered neighboring Georgia since President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of Russian men to fight in Ukraine. Recent figures by the Georgian government put that number at about 60,000 people.
Estimates vary, but it’s likely that before September’s influx of Russians, more than 50,000 Russians already resided in Georgia, which has a total population of 3.7 million people. That includes about 30,000 who left Russia in the early weeks of the Ukraine war.
Many of them don’t speak Georgian, which has sparked a more linguistic type of conflict. In fact, national tensions became so fierce at a popular bar in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, that the place even started requiring Russian citizens to agree to a series of statements about their politics before entering.
For some people, the hostilities toward Russia — and by extension, Russian immigrants — is deeply rooted in history.
In 2008, the Russian army entered Georgia and occupied South Ossetia, a region of the country that it still controls. Since 1993, Russian-allied forces have controlled another region, Abkhazia. Before that, Georgia was a largely unwilling member of the Russian and Soviet empires. In the 1970s, Moscow even briefly tried to outlaw the Georgian language.
Georgia has been independent for more than 30 years, but the war in Ukraine has brought new worries about Russia’s intentions. Additionally, Russian citizens are able to enter Georgia without visas.
Tato Londaridze is the manager of the Dedaena Bar, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Patrick Cox/The World
But some Russians who’ve fled to Georgia are adapting.
Andrei Babitsky is a Russian who has lived in Georgia since the beginning of the Ukraine war, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Patrick Cox/The World
Like journalist and political dissident Andrei Babitsky, who left Russia 20 hours after it invaded Ukraine.
Because he lives in Georgia now, Babitsky considers it “common decency” to learn the language.
He said that studying Georgian is like working out at the gym: Do it regularly and you’ll see improvement.
Babitsky's newfound mastery of Georgian has started paying off.
“I am like this only Russian guy who tries speaking Georgian,” he said. “Everybody loves me.”
Babitsky said it’s never been easier for him to get a taxi or book a table at a popular restaurant. So, he’s trying to convince other Russians by telling them about these advantages. So far, though, he said, the message isn’t getting through.
Patrick Cox is the host of "Subtitle," a podcast about languages and the people who speak them. "Subtitle" is supported by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Ministry of Internal Affairs: mobilization point of the military registration and enlistment office to be placed on the border with Georgia in the near future The flow of transport towards Georgia is growing, the Ministry of Internal Affairs noted. The department decided to take a number of measures to reduce the risks of conflicts and illegal behavior at the border, including deploying a mobilization point of the military enlistment office
The head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia did not see a reason to restrict the entry of Russians
The head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia did not see a reason to restrict entry into the country for Russians max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Opposition deputy announced Georgia's plans to close the border for men from Russia Representatives of the Georgian authorities did not confirm the words of the deputy from the opposition 756641397039415.jpg 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
From September 26, the Georgian authorities may close the borders for men from Russia due to the large flow of Russians arriving in the country, said the deputy of the opposition party of Georgia “United National Movement” in the Georgian Parliament Nona Mamulashvili on the air of the Ukrainian TV channel FreeDom.
“The Georgian government has so far done nothing to stop this massive influx of Russians into Georgia. As far as they explained to us, on Monday they will close the borders. This is the only thing they could do at this stage,»— she said.
According to her, the entry ban may primarily affect men aged 18 to 55.
Mamulashvili pointed out that no official statements have yet been received from the Georgian government.
Early on the morning of September 23, at the Upper Lars border checkpoint, there was a record queue of cars for 2022— 1.7 thousand
According to the data of the Federal Customs Service (FTS) of Russia on the workload of automobile checkpoints, the most significant queues (the number of vehicles in front of the checkpoint) were then recorded at the following points:
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- Upper Lars (border with Georgia)— 1715 cars;
- Kyakhta (border with Mongolia)— 80 cars;
- Burachki (border with Latvia)— 58 cars;
- Ubylinka (border with Latvia)— 25 cars.
The next day, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of North Ossetia called on Russians to refrain from traveling to Georgia due to the fact that at the checkpoint “Upper Lars” there were large queues of people waiting for the passage— only about 2.3 thousand cars.
On September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in the country. According to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, it is planned to mobilize 300 thousand Russians, or about 1% of the total mobilization reserve.
After that, traffic jams were reported on the border with Georgia, Finland, Mongolia, and airlines sold out tickets for the next direct flights to Istanbul, Yerevan, Baku.
Kazakhstan's National Security Committee reported that on September 25, the country's border guards detained three Russians who violated the border, bypassing the existing checkpoint.
« The violators explain their actions by the desire to evade the partial mobilization being carried out on the territory of Russia,»,— noted in the message.
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The ruling party of Georgia allowed a referendum after Kyiv's calls to open a “second front” The position of the Georgian authorities is unchanged: they oppose the opening of a second front against Russia in the country. But amid calls from Kyiv, Tbilisi is ready to hold a referendum to find out if the people agree with it, Kobakhidze said
The leadership of Georgia, after the calls of representatives of Ukraine to open a “second front” in the country, is ready to organize a referendum against Russia in order to find out the position of the population, but does not support this idea itself, the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party said at a briefing. Irakli Kobakhidze.
“We can hold a poll, a plebiscite, whether people want to open a second front in Georgia or not. <…> People must decide whether they agree with high-ranking officials of the Ukrainian government or whether they agree with our position regarding the non-opening of a second front,— Georgian Channel One cites Kobakhidze's words.
According to the chairman of the Georgian Dream, a number of high-ranking Ukrainian officials directly stated how desirable it was to open a second front in Georgia.
“This is their position, and I will repeat once again: we must ask people whether they want a second front in Georgia or not. If people want, we can discuss this issue together later. If not, then we must make a different choice and stick to the decision already made, — noted Kobakhidze.
A number of Ukrainian politicians have previously made various statements regarding Georgia against the background of the Russian special operation. The day before, on September 12, Verkhovna Rada deputy Fyodor Venislavsky said that the Georgian people have a unique opportunity to force the authorities to “take concrete steps and liberate Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” since Russia is now completely focused on Ukraine, Sputnik Georgia reports.
The fact that Georgia should “rise and defend its country”, said the Secretary of the Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov. Advisors to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Mykhailo Podolyak and Oleksiy Arestovich also made similar statements.
Read on RBC Pro Pro Five Tips to Start Meditating Regularly Pro Instructions Not Green No More: How Europe is Returning to Fossil Energy Articles Pro “The End of Abundance”. What will happen to the European economy and is a crisis possible Articles Pro How parents' behavior affects the future of children Instructions Pro How to save your property if you are bankrupt. Legitimate ways Articles Pro The export market in Russia has changed: how to sell goods abroad Pro instructions How to find an idea for $ 27 billion: tips from the creator of the Roblox gaming platform Articles Pro What is the difference between shame and guilt? In turn, they have repeatedly emphasized that they consider it unacceptable to draw the country into the conflict in Ukraine. “We guarantee the population that there will be long-term peace in the country, no second front, no war,” — Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili spoke in May. He recalled that Georgia already had a military conflict with Russia in 2008, which brought “a thousand troubles” and «destructive consequences».
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Aleshkovsky lives in Tbilisi with his family, but flew to Yerevan for two days. According to his mother, historian Tamara Eidelman, the border guards did not explain the reason and simply sent him back. 673w” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
Journalist and philanthropist Mitya Aleshkovsky (recognized as a foreign agent) was deported from Georgia to Yerevan, where he flew from. This was announced on Facebook (the social network belongs to the extremist and banned Meta company recognized in Russia) by his mother, historian and honored teacher of Russia Tamara Eidelman.
According to her, Aleshkovsky lives in Tbilisi, where his wife and daughter are waiting for him. He went to Yerevan for two days together with Eidelman for her lecture. She accused the Georgian authorities of “fawning” in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Eidelman told RBC that her son was already in Yerevan. She added that the Georgian border guards “didn't explain anything, they just refused entry.” RBC sent a request to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia.
Aleshkovsky— journalist, photographer, director of the publication “Takie Dela” and one of the founders of the Need Help Foundation. He opposed the Russian military operation in Ukraine. In July, the Ministry of Justice entered him into the register of media-foreign agents.
In August last year, opposition politician Lyubov Sobol (recognized as a foreign agent) was denied entry to Georgia. She attributed the refusal to Tbilisi's unwillingness to spoil relations with Russia. In January, another oppositionist was not allowed into Georgia— Dmitry Gudkov.
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More than 20 largest NGOs in Georgia demanded that the ruling Georgian Dream party and the government introduce a visa regime for Russians . The newspaper Kommersant writes about this.
Georgian NGOs are concerned about the latest statistics from the National Tourism Administration, which indicate an influx of Russian travelers.
The official letter from representatives of the NGOs states that in the first half of 2022, the number of Russians who arrived in Georgia increased significantly. Also, after the start of the special operation, about 6.4 thousand Russian companies were registered in Georgia, which is seven times more than in the whole of 2021.
NPOs believe that the solution to this problem is “a matter of national security of the country” . They said that the Russian Federation would be able to use the fact that a large number of its citizens were in the country as a “pretext for occupation”.
GEU Diplomacy Lava Borrell speaks of Georgia's “failures” in reforms for European integration Georgia is implementing reforms in difficult conditions, there are difficulties in important areas – in relation to human rights and the rule of law, Borrell believes. He stressed that official Tbilisi should comply with the stated goals ” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
The European Union supports Georgia in carrying out reforms on the path to European integration, in this process “some progress” is observed, but problems have emerged in a number of areas, the EU annual report says. The document was released ahead of the EU-Georgia Council meeting scheduled for September 6.
“We have witnessed failures in key areas of the rule of law, governance and human rights,”— said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
He noted that Georgia, at the same time, continued “its path of reforms in difficult conditions”, among them the head of European diplomacy called the economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, the events in Ukraine and the “tense political situation”. Borrell stressed that Georgia should pursue a conscientious approach to reform that is in line with “its declared goals and the aspirations of its citizens.” Georgia is entering a new stage in its relations with the European Union, he noted.
The development of the situation on the issue of European integration depends on Georgia, said Commissioner for Enlargement and Policy Oliver Varhelyi. He noted that the European Commission is ready to grant the status of a candidate for accession to the European Union, after all conditions are met. “The ball is now on the side of Georgia”, — he stressed.
Georgia applied for EU membership after Ukraine and Moldova in early March. The aspiration of the republic for membership in the EU and Euro-Atlantic security structures is enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia.
In mid-July, the European Commission recommended granting candidate membership status to Ukraine and Moldova, but Georgia was offered a “European perspective.” Tbilisi should fulfill “a number of identified priority tasks” until the end of 2022, the EC said in a statement. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed confidence that Georgia now needs to “politically unite” to determine the general line in the field of structural reforms. Evaluation of reform progress postponed until 2023, the EC warned later.
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“After careful discussion, we have decided not to rush the political elite of Georgia in trying to achieve depolarization in order to sit down at the same negotiating table, and to work carefully over the reforms»,— Michael Rupp, head of the EC group for Georgia and Moldova, explained. Prime Minister of the Republic Irakli Garibashvili expressed confidence that Georgia “for ten heads” ahead of Ukraine and Moldova in all areas, and ahead of a number of EU countries in some of them. “If status is defined by war, we don't want war. We demand a well-deserved status, — he insisted.
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Head of the State Oil and Gas Agency of Georgia Georgy Tatishvili announced the discovery of gas deposits of 16 billion cubic meters, which is equivalent to eight years of gas consumption throughout the country.
“Reserves were discovered in a well drilled by Schlumberger near Tbilisi,” Tatishvili said in an interview with Business Media.
He also noted that in the license area horizontal drilling required.
Large traffic jams are formed at the Upper Lars checkpoint on the border with Georgia due to an increase in the tourist flow, and the waiting time in line reaches a day, the Ministry of Emergency Situations for North Ossetia reported
At the Upper Lars checkpoint on the border with Georgia, where there are large traffic jams, and the waiting time in line reaches a day, they plan to launch 12 new lanes next week, Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev told reporters. By the end of the year, a total of 39 lanes will start operating. Now there are 13 of them.
«There is a bottleneck on the Russian-Georgian border— Upper Lars checkpoint, there were big traffic jams. Until now, there were 13 lanes for the passage of trucks and cars. This month we will introduce an additional 12»,— he said.
The Ministry of Transport told RBC that 12 additional lanes are technically ready for operation. They are expected to launch within a week. By November, it is planned to launch another 12 lanes, as well as two due to the expansion, explained in the department.
«In total, upon completion of the reconstruction of the checkpoint, 39 full-fledged traffic lanes for cars and freight transport (and there were only 13) »,— reported in the Ministry of Transport.
They added that the main construction work in Upper Lars is planned to be completed at the end of the year, to fully complete the modernization & mdash; in the first half of 2023.
According to Savelyev, as a result, the throughput capacity of the checkpoint will more than double, from 1.5 thousand to 3.5 thousand cars per day.
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The Upper Lars checkpoint is located on the border with Georgia in North Ossetia, not far from Vladikavkaz, on the Georgian Military Highway.
In early July, management The Ministry of Emergency Situations for North Ossetia reported that due to the increase in tourist flow, the checkpoint is operating in emergency mode, and the daily throughput capacity has been exceeded by two to three times.
The department clarified that all 13 lanes are working, but Despite this, a lot of cars and trucks accumulate near the border. Waiting in line can be up to a day, the ministry reported.
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“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Longtime refugees in Georgia say goodbye to the Soviet-era sanatoriums they called home
Displaced people have spent decades living in old sanatoriums and hotels scattered throughout Georgia. Now, the government plans to restore the dilapidated buildings to boost tourism.
The WorldJuly 7, 2022 · 1:45 PM EDT
- By Levi Bridges
Many of Tskaltubo's sanatoriums will soon be renovated and reopened to tourists once again through an initiative funded by the government and private investment. Most of the last internally displaced people who have called these buildings home since the '90s have finally been relocated to permanent housing.
Levi Bridges/The World
Lika Xarabava finds it hard to watch news coverage about the war in Ukraine from her dilapidated residence in Tskaltubo, Georgia.
“It’s very difficult because we’ve already lived through what Ukraine is experiencing right now,” Xarabava said, “but for us it was even worse because, back then, there wasn't the internet to show the world what was happening.”
In 1992, Xarabava fled Abkhazia, a breakaway region in Georgia, amid brutal conflict between Russian-backed separatists and the Georgian army. More than 250,000 internally displaced people (IDPs), mainly ethnic Georgians, fled their homes during the war to other parts of the country.
She and her family, along with thousands of other IDPs, established a new home in an abandoned sanatorium in Tskaltubo, a former Soviet-era spa town renowned for its healing mineral springs.
A former bathhouse in the town of Tskaltubo, Georgia. Workers once traveled from throughout the Soviet Union to bathe in the town's mineral waters which have healing properties.
Levi Bridges/The World
Displaced people like Xarabava have spent decades living in old sanatoriums and hotels scattered throughout Georgia, remnants of a time when the country's temperate climate, mineral springs and Black Sea beaches made some consider it to be the pearl of the former Soviet Union.
The Soviet-era buildings had hosted travelers who came to bathe in the town’s mineral springs. But the sprawling sanatorium where Xarabava has lived for three decades is falling apart.
Lika Xarabava, 40, was still a child when she fled Abkhazia and found refuge in one of Tskaltubo's rundown sanatoriums. The aging building is the only home she has ever known in her adult life. Credit:
Levi Bridges/The World
On the ground floor, tall marble columns rise before a sparkling chandelier. But there are several smashed windows throughout the building and the floors of some of the uninhabited rooms are covered with pieces of wood, old books and broken glass.
When Xarabava first arrived in the once-stately building, there was no electricity, water or heat. Today, power lines and hoses snake out the windows. The family cooks on a small wood stove.
During the war in Abkhazia, ethnic Georgians were often targeted and even killed by separatists. Xarabava and her mother left Abkhazia after separatists burnt their home to the ground.
“They wouldn’t let us live,” Xarabava said. “They even killed children and old people, it was genocide,” she said.
The war ended in 1993, but the conflict was never fully resolved. Abkhazia declared itself independent and Russia is one of the only countries that recognizes it, with Russian troops still stationed there.
Many IDPs never returned home.
‘Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes’
There are 22 sanatoriums scattered around Tskaltubo.
For some older Georgians, seeing Tskaltubo’s sanatoriums in their current state of ruin is painful.
“Sometimes it brings tears to my eyes when I see what kind of condition the sanatoriums are in. It’s unimaginable what’s happened to them,” said Anzor Babunashvili, a 72-year-old Tskalbubo native who once worked at the town’s sanatoriums.
Many of the sanatoriums built during the Soviet period in Tskaltubo, Georgia, were grandiose neoclassical buildings with statues and tall columns. But after the Soviet Union fell, many of the buildings were abandoned and later used to house people displaced by war in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia.
Levi Bridges/The World
Several sanatoriums retain names like Geology, Media and Metallurgy, titles inspired by the different groups of Soviet workers who once came to stay in them.
Workers were sent on free trips to spend time recovering in Tskaltubo.
Over time, the town became known throughout the Soviet Union as a place to rest and relax. A stay at one of Tskaltubo’s sanatoriums came with a set health improvement regimen, including frequent soaks in the town’s mineral waters.
“It [the sanatoriums] was more regulated than a hotel, where you just go and have fun and have drinks,” said David Sichinava, a human geographer and lecturer at Carleton University in Ottawa, who was also displaced from Abkhazia during the war and grew up in Tskaltubo.
A photo in Tskaltubo's museum shows the Geologist sanatorium named after one of the groups of workers who once came to this town from across the Soviet Union to seek treatment in the local mineral waters.
Levi Bridges/The World
Sichinava said that sanatoriums first started in Central Europe and the tradition eventually spread to places like Russia.
Sanatorium stays became so widespread that the practice even popped up in literature, like the works of Dostoevsky. And many characters, not only in Russian novels but throughout European literature, often spent time healing in sanatoriums.
“It was actually a very popular pastime in late 19th century, early 20th century,” Sichinava said, “but when the Bolshevks took over in the Soviet Union, the goal of sanatoria changed to serve the broader masses, not just wealthy people.”
The Georgian government recently launched an effort to renovate Tskaltubo’s sanatoriums with the help of a large grant from the World Bank to spur tourism and welcome travelers to the buildings once again.
Most IDPs who were living in the buildings have been relocated to new housing constructed by the government.
As the town attempts to rebrand itself from a rundown refuge area, back to its original glory as a spa resort, Sichinava worries the residents who have inhabited the sanatoriums since the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union will be written out of recent history.
“The stories of 10,000 people who used to make their life in Tskaltubo now are almost being erased,” Sichinava said.
Tskaltubo's sanatoriums might appear abandoned, but inside there are signs everywhere of the people who live there.
Levi Bridges/The World
As Xalabava and her family prepare to move, the town is already opening its doors to new arrivals.
Hotels in Tskaltubo recently started offering free rooms to families fleeing Ukraine.
The number of people displaced by conflict globally has continued to rise steadily for the last half decade, and the conflict in Ukraine threatens to continue that trend in 2022.
And as the world’s population becomes more urbanized, displaced people are ending up in urban environments and substandard housing, rather than refugee camps.
Tamara Sarria, 87, fled war in Abkhazia in 1992 when the region tried to separate from Georgia and has lived in a neglected sanatorium in Tskaltubo for the last three decades.
Levi Bridges/The World
On one of their last nights in the sanatorium that they have called home for the last three decades, Xarabava and her mother gathered in their room and sang songs by the fire.
They have a brand new apartment waiting for them — but Xarabava isn’t ready to leave.
“I’ll admit this place isn’t comfortable, but I got used to it,” Xarabava said. “It’s home.”
This is due to the lack of intersections with Russia
The EU Heads of State Summit expressed its readiness to grant Georgia the status of a candidate for joining the EU if the country fulfills a number of conditions. Political scientist Alexander Asafov believes that the reasons for the refusal to grant this status to Georgia are exclusively political in nature, since Ukraine and Moldova received it.
In an interview with NEWS.ru, Asafov said that Georgia does not have any contours of intersection with Russian or pro-Russian interests, so the country will “wait”. According to the political scientist, everything else is a symbolic gesture, as it was said at the summit of the EU leaders. The expert added that Georgia will not be granted the status of an EU candidate country, even if it imposes sanctions against the Russian Federation.
However, Asafov predicted that it is very likely that Moldova will impose anti-Russian sanctions, as the speaker of the Moldovan parliament had previously spoken about Igor Grosu. According to the political scientist, this scenario is “absolutely probable”, and now they will look at what will cause more damage to Russia than to Moldova, and if the European Union is able to compensate for this damage, then sanctions will be introduced.
Expert considers this position quite obvious and does not see anything surprising in it. However, as Asafov noted, the question is what measures can have a serious impact on the economy and trade, which is now “not very positive.”
Read also:Political scientist told why the EU is going to expel Ukrainian men
The European Commission recommended granting candidate status for EU accession to Ukraine and Moldova, but not to Georgia .jpg” alt=”Tbilisi announced Kyiv's request not to give Georgia the status of an EU candidate” />
Head of the Servant of the People faction in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine David Arakhamia and the parliamentary opposition of Georgia in the person of the “United National Movement” asked Brussels not to give Georgia the status of a candidate member of the EU, said Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
“Together with you, dear opponents, persistently demanded that Georgia not receive the status of a candidate, the representative of the Ukrainian authorities, Mr. is your friend. Europe was practically given an ultimatum: if Georgia gets the status of a candidate, we will be very disappointed,— Newsgeorgia portal quotes Garibashvili.
He also called opposition MP Salome Samadashvili (Lelo for Georgia) a “traitor to the motherland”, saying that she went to Brussels and asked that Georgia not be granted EU candidate status.
“United National Movement” (END)— the ruling party during the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili. Salome Samadashvili was formerly a member, but in February 2022 she moved to the Lelo party, which advocates a multi-party system in the Georgian parliament, dominated by the UNM and the current ruling Georgian Dream.
As noted by Newsgeorgia , during the Saakashvili years, Samadashvili was the ambassador to the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, and also headed the Georgian mission to the EU. Representatives of the country's ruling party have said that it is using its connections in Brussels to damage the reputation of the Georgian Dream government.
On June 17, the European Commission recommended granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership. The head of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said Kyiv had shown “a desire and determination to live up to European values and standards.” At the same time, the EC noted, Ukraine needs to continue the reform of the judiciary, the fight against corruption and the influence of oligarchs, as well as bringing the legislation in line with the European one.
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Moldova also received a positive recommendation from the European Commission, and it was decided not to give it to Georgia until a number of conditions were met. Georgian authorities said that Tbilisi deserved the status of a 30-year “struggle for democracy”; and the reforms implemented by the government over the past nine years.
The final decision on granting the status of candidates for EU accession to Ukraine and Moldova should be taken by European leaders at the summit on June 23–24.
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Zelensky accuses Georgia of self-interest due to the rejection of sanctions against the Russian Federation
The survey showed that the majority of Georgians agree with their government
Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, accused the Georgian government of self-interest due to Tbilisi's refusal to join anti-Russian sanctions.
Photo: Global Look Press
Earlier, the Georgian television company Imedi published the results of a survey conducted by Gorbi.
He showed that 70 percent of citizens agree with the decision of the country's authorities, who did not want to join the sanctions against Russia.
“Principles are more important than profit. What is important to you? – Podolyak wrote in social networks, referring to the example minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili.
In turn, the Georgian government stated that support for anti-Russian sanctions by Tbilisi would not cause serious harm to Russia, but at the same time would mean powerful a blow to the economy and population of Georgia.
It also became known today that the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, criticized Berlin for trade with Russia. Previously, data were cited, according to which in the first quarter of this year, Germany paid 15.8 billion euros for Russian energy resources.
“Do you call this solidarity with Ukraine? Or is business above all? – he wrote in social networks.
Meanwhile, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who, in his opinion, is trying to balance between Kyiv and Moscow.
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced that the Georgian government had banned her from visiting Ukraine. She is currently in Brussels, and during her working trip she also planned to visit Belgium, Poland, France and Ukraine.
Zurabishvili says that the government explained its refusal by saying that in order to obtain the status of an EU candidate, Georgia all necessary arrangements have been made and there is no need to travel.
The President added that she considers the government's decision appropriate and does not see the need for excessive activity.
Senator Karasin: Russia will work on resuming flights with Georgia The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called “the cessation of the Russophobic campaign” among the conditions for lifting the ban alt=”Russia will work on resuming flights with Georgia” />
Russia will work on resuming flights with Georgia. Grigory Karasin, head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, stated this in a conversation with TASS.
“Let's hope we will work in this direction,” — he said on the sidelines of the XIII International Economic Summit “Russia” Islamic World: KazanSummit 2022».
In January, the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that among the conditions for lifting the ban on air travel with Georgia— “stopping the Russophobic campaign”, “a more balanced policy” against Russia and the “disappearance of threats to security” Russians.
Moscow remains committed to the goals of normalizing Russian-Georgian relations and restoring bilateral ties, but such a process should be a “two-way street,” the ministry stressed.
Ban on flights with Georgia is temporary, the Foreign Ministry emphasized.
Russia severed direct flights with Georgia on June 21 amid protests in Tbilisi. The reason for the protests was that State Duma deputy from the Communist Party Sergei Gavrilov sat in the speaker's chair during the opening of the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy in the Georgian parliament.
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After that, the opposition Georgian parties “United National Movement” and “European Georgia” considered that a deputy from Russia cannot be in the Georgian parliament and take the chair.
The protesters demanded the resignation of speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and the holding of early parliamentary elections. Kobakhidze complied with their demands by resigning on June 21.
According to the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin, flights of Russian airlines to the country ceased on July 8. Later, the Russian Ministry of Transport announced that from that date a temporary ban on flights to Russia of Georgian airlines would also be introduced.
The head of the Ministry of Transport at that time, Yevgeny Dietrich, then warned that due to the decision to close direct flights with Georgia, Russian airlines will lose about 3 billion rubles.
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Georgian ruling party rules out recognition of South Ossetian referendum Georgian authorities do not recognize the de facto referendum in South Ossetia on unification with Russia, as well as the presidential elections in this country and its government, said the head of the ruling party. Voting will take place on July 17
Tskhinvali, South Ossetia
The Georgian authorities do not intend to recognize the referendum in South Ossetia on the issue of unification with Russia, which will be held on July 17, as well as its results, said the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party. Irakli Kobakhidze, quoted by Imedinews.
"With regard to such initiatives, we have a clear policy, and we do not recognize either the de facto government, or the de facto elections, or the de facto referendum. Our position on this matter is very clear, very clear. Therefore, it is natural to follow the same line, — he said.
The day before, Anatoly Bibilov, the current president of South Ossetia, which the Georgian authorities consider an occupied region, signed a decree on holding a referendum on the question of the republic's entry into Russia. Voting will take place on July 17th. Bibilov stated that he “was guided by the historical desire of the people of the Republic of South Ossetia for reunification with Russia and in accordance with paragraph 16 of Article 50 of the Constitution of the Republic, such wording is given in his decree. On the night of May 14, the document was approved by the Supreme Court of South Ossetia.
On voting day, citizens will have to answer the question of whether they support “unification of the Republic of South Ossetia and Russia”.
Bibilov lost the presidential election to his rival, the head of the opposition Nykhas party. Alan Gagloev, he is expected to take office after May 20. After the election, Gagloev emphasized that the authorities would organize a referendum when they received a signal from Moscow, since the decision should be made by both sides. “The main factor here is the willingness of the Russian Federation to take on such responsibility,” — he said.
In response to the initiative, the Kremlin noted that they would respect the results of the vote, but noted that Moscow did not participate in this process in any way from a legal point of view. Deputy head of the commission “United Russia” for International Cooperation Andrei Klimov and Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Artem Turov said that there are no obstacles for the region to join the country.
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Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili handed over the answers to the first part of the questionnaire required for joining the EU. Tbilisi plans to send answers to the sectoral part by May 13. A decision on Georgia's EU membership is expected at the end of June
Karl Khartsel and Irakli Garibashvili
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, handed over the answers to the first part of the questionnaire for obtaining the status of a candidate for EU membership, to the head of the EU Delegation in Tbilisi, Karl Hartzel, the press service of the administration of the Georgian government reports.
Gharibashvili added that the government Georgia and all relevant departments continue intensive work on filling out the second, sectoral part of the questionnaire, which includes 33 chapters and up to 2300 questions. According to him, Tbilisi wants to transfer the second part of the questionnaire to the EU by May 13.
The press service noted that after receiving the completed questionnaire, the European Commission will start preparing its own assessment report, which will then be submitted to the Council of the European Union, and a corresponding decision on Georgia's possible accession to the EU is expected by the end of June.
Georgia applied for EU membership together with Moldova in early March, following Ukraine. The desire for EU membership and Euro-Atlantic security structures is enshrined in the country's Constitution.
Georgia and Moldova received a questionnaire for obtaining the status of a candidate for EU membership on April 11, Ukraine— two days earlier. The head of the Moldovan Foreign Ministry, Nikolai Popescu, then said that he expected Chisinau to fill out the document within a few weeks. Ukraine handed over the completed questionnaire on April 18.
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Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili called on Western partners, including the United States, to “remember” Georgia and Moldova and demonstrate political support for these countries, which will be an “important signal” to Moscow
Georgia now needs the political support of Western partners, including the United States , as an “important signal” for Moscow, President Salome Zurabishvili said in an interview with The Hill.
She said she hoped to see Georgia among the talking points released by the Biden administration, saying it would send “an important message” for Moscow. Zurabishvili stressed that this is not about increasing military assistance, but about demonstrating political support for Georgia, as well as Moldova.
According to her, despite the fact that Moscow cannot now deploy troops to start a new operation, Russia “can still play on nerves,
and this is what it is doing in Transnistria, trying to sow fears, destabilize the population”
“In this way, Russia shows that even if it is focused on Ukraine, it does not forget Moldova and [Georgia]. So, again, our Western partners should, for their part, not forget Georgia, — she said.
Zurabishvili also indicated that Georgia does not intend to back down from its NATO aspirations, as it seeks security guarantees.
In early April, after announcing the resignation of Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and his appointment as the country's ambassador to the United States, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili called Washington the most important strategic partner of Georgia. According to him, the task of Tbilisi — bring relations between the two countries to a new, higher level. “I believe David can do it,” — he said.
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In mid-February, Reuters reported that Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, while on a visit to Brussels, said that the country's accession to NATO is the only way to preserve the country's territorial integrity. In early March, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the issue of membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO is not currently on the agenda. Presidents of the United States and France Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron and Secretary General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg also spoke about this.
Georgia will not become a country to bypass the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation because of Ukraine
Georgia will not be drawn into the “game” imposed by the EU and the US, and will not become a platform for evasion of sanctions imposed on Russia because of Ukraine, said Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party, ex-speaker of parliament.
In an interview with the Georgian TV channel Imedi, he explained that he did not will allow the country to be manipulated by both European and Russian partners.
Let us recall that Tbilisi and Moscow have developed close relations and they are negotiating to establish a “smuggling route” for the transport of weapons Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk said earlier this week.
In an interview with the Georgian TV channel Formula, she recalled that Georgia had refused to impose sanctions against Moscow.
“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>Russians in Georgia help to evacuate Ukrainians
Hundreds of Russian dissidents and members of civil society who have challenged Vladimir Putin’s government have settled in nearby Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. The country’s relaxed visa rules and low cost of living have attracted artists, activists and journalists. Some who’ve settled there are now working to support their fellow Russians and protest the war from afar.
The WorldApril 7, 2022 · 11:00 AM EDT
- By Levi Bridges
A demonstrator holds a Ukrainian national flag in front of the Georgian Parliament during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Tbilisi, Georgia, March 1, 2022. Some Russians who've resettled in Georgia are now helping Ukrainians evacuate.
In a spacious office in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, a group of young volunteers, hunched over cellphones and computers, works to evacuate Ukrainains fleeing the war.
“This is a place where people come alive,” said Alina Muzychenko, 36, a Russian activist and volunteer. “We’re all in shock about what’s happening, and for our team, it’s a way to mobilize our energy and do something.”
Members of the grassroots group Helping To Leave, founded by activists, journalists and artists on Feb. 24, the day the war in Ukraine started, are here around the clock to aid Ukrainians looking for safety, psychological support, financial aid and more.
Many of the volunteers are Russians who recently left their own country for safety reasons. They are part of an outspoken generation who fear they could be jailed for opposing the war.
“[They’re] the young voice of the revolution.”
Alina Muzychenko, Russian activist and volunteer with Helping to Leave in Tbilisi, Georgia
“[They’re] the young voice of the revolution,” said Muzychenko, who moved to Tbilisi last year after she faced intimidation in Russia for her work.
Alina Muzychenko, 36, and Egor Eremeev, 34, protest the war in Ukraine from their new home in Tbilisi, Georgia. Many Russian activists say they can do more productive work abroad where they no longer face the risk of arrest for their work.
Courtesy of Vasya Krestyaninov
At least 20,000 Russians have arrived in Georgia since the war in Ukraine started in February. Hundreds of them are activists and journalists fleeing a recent crackdown on dissent inside Russia. Thousands of Russians have been arrested for protesting the war. Even just calling the conflict a “war” is a criminal offense in Russia.
Muzychenko left Russia in June 2021 as a part of a growing wave of Russian dissidents who started leaving in the months before the war started. While living in Moscow, Muzychenko helped found Kultrab, an artist collective and clothing brand that works to raise awareness about issues like Russia’s crackdown on LGBTQ rights.
A model working with Kultrab poses with a new line of merchandise to raise money for a Russian organization providing legal services to protesters detained by authorities. Since its founding, Kulbrab has used fashion to fundraise for independent organizations in Russia. Kulbrab’s founders eventually left Russia because of their work.
Courtesy of Zhenya Filatova
In addition to activism and art, Kultrab also designed clothing to raise money for the independent media outlet Mediazona, which focuses on Russia’s judicial and prison systems.
Since Kultrab was founded in 2017, Muzychenko said that officials from Russia’s Center for Combatting Extremism started showing up at Kultrab’s events and following them on social media. Their collective came under more pressure last year when Russia started labeling independent media outlets as foreign agents.
That growing list of media organizations eventually included Mediazona.
Muzychenko said that she felt compelled to leave Russia because collaborating with organizations deemed by the government as “undesirable” is a criminal offense in the country.
“We understood that the young people who we work with might run into danger,” Muzychenko said. “That's why we decided to leave.”
These days, Muzychenko devotes most of her time in Tbilisi to Helping to Leave.
Irma Fatianova, 32, who previously worked with jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny before leaving Russia for Tbilisi, helps with fundraising for the project.
“Before, it was just Navalny and his associates [who were at risk], but now, the threat falls on anyone who expresses their opinion publicly,” Fatianova said. “So, it makes sense to leave Russia and do something useful on the outside.”
Many Russians choose Georgia because they don’t need visas, and lots of Georgians speak Russian. In Tbilisi, there are now people dedicated to helping them.
“It changed from 12 hours a day of work to 22 hours a day of work immediately after the war started,” said Egor Kuroptev, director of the South Caucasus Office of the Free Russia Foundation, an organization that has been offering assistance to Russians arriving in Tbilisi in addition to other tasks like countering misinformation about the war.
Roman Dmitrienko sits in a detention center outside Moscow after he and Kultrab’s co-founder, Egor Eremeev, were arrested for attending a rally in support of Alexei Navalny in March 2021. Eremeev left Russia and moved to Tbilisi, Georgia, shortly after his release.
Courtesy of Vladimir Rumyantsev
Kuroptev’s office has received requests from thousands of Russians, Belorussians and Ukrainians seeking assistance since the war started. He said that some of the Russians coming to Georgia are activists, but there are also lots of working professionals.
“They want to leave because they're under sanctions, their bank cards are not working, they cannot receive payments from abroad,” Kuroptev said.
The Georgian government has downplayed the significance of Russians coming here, saying the numbers are about the same as Russian tourists who visited Georgia before the pandemic. But hundreds of dissidents have now settled in Georgia. Kuroptev said that the Kremlin puts constant pressure on Georgia, which makes the authorities in Tbilisi consider all possible risks and sometimes act unpredictably.
“When any country around Russia sees that some maniac can start a war without any single reason, they're afraid,” Kuroptev said.
Some Russians in Tbilisi say they’ve been mostly welcomed here. But anti-Russian graffiti has turned up on the streets and some landlords have posted online that they won’t rent to Russians.
“After the war, there started to be way more Russophobia, and it makes total sense.”
Yulia Lutikova, Russian artist and volunteer with Helping to Leave in Tbilisi, Georgia
“After the war, there started to be way more Russophobia, and it makes total sense,” said Yulia Lutikova, 19, a Russian artist who moved to Tbilisi last year who also works with Helping to Leave.
Lutikova said that she sympathized with Georgians who are likely to judge Russians by the behavior of their government. For Russians like Lutikova, even just getting in a Tbilisi taxi and conversing with the driver in Russian — which usually means having to explain whether you’re from Russia — can feel extremely uncomfortable.
Egor Eremeev, 34, and Alina Muzychenko, 36, are the co-founders of Kultrab, an artist collective and clothing brand that works to raise awareness about issues like Russia’s crackdown on the rights of the LGBTQ community. They relocated to Tbilisi in 2021 after facing intimidation for their activism in Russia.
Levi Bridges/The World
But despite the occasional awkward moment, Lutikova said that she’s doing things in Georgia that she never could in Moscow. She went to a rally in support of Ukraine recently and held up a big poster denouncing Russia’s leadership.
“Before, that would have been like a dream,” Lutikova said. “Here [in Georgia], free speech exists everywhere, it doesn’t matter what it’s about.”
Even though Russians in Tbilisi are far away from home, Russian dissidents remain committed to returning home when the government changes.
Muzychenko, the co-founder of Kultrab, said that she and her friends hope to return to Russia someday.
“We love Russia, we love Belarus, we love Ukraine, and we really want people from all these countries to be able to have a say in politics or go to a peaceful protest without being in danger,” Muzychenko said.
For the moment, Muzychenko and other young Russians in Tbilisi have focused their energy on helping Ukrainians. Russian activists feel they can do much more important work in Georgia than they can from a prison cell in Russia.
Photo: Global Look Press
NATO will not send ground troops into Ukraine and close the sky over it so as not to provoke Russia. But the alliance intends to provide Kiev with military assistance and will significantly increase its own presence in Eastern Europe.
This was announced by Secretary General of the military bloc Jens Stoltenberg following an emergency summit held in Brussels. Ukraine, in particular, will receive equipment for protection against biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear thunderstorms. NATO allies have also agreed to provide Kiev with further humanitarian assistance.
In addition, four tactical battle groups will be established in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia. 40,000 troops have already been deployed on the eastern flank of the alliance.
NATO Secretary General announced the creation of the Diana military innovation fund, which will include more than 60 scientific sites.
Against the backdrop of the situation in Ukraine the alliance will strengthen military support for Georgia, Herzegovina and Bosnia.
See also: The essence of the American Lend-Lease for Ukraine was clarified
Ukraine has become a “reserve” for criminals fleeing Georgia, Deputy Prime Minister Tsulukiani said. She called the words of the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine that Georgia provides Russia with its territory for the smuggling of military equipment
Ukraine has become a reserve for criminals from Georgia, Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Teya Tsulukiani said, local GHN agency reports.
So she commented on the statement of Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk, who said that Georgia provides Russia with its territory for the smuggling of military equipment and spare parts.
“Unfortunately, through no fault of ours, even during my tenure as Minister of Justice, Ukraine has become a reserve for criminals fleeing Georgia. Therefore, I would like the Ukrainian government to cooperate not with the fleeing criminals, but with the government of Georgia”, — suggested Tsulukiani.
And she declared Vereshchuk's statement disinformation and a “dirty lie.” “I assure you, the borders of Georgia are controlled. The Ministry of Finance of Georgia has issued an official statement that the borders are controlled and that any sanctioned goods, whether military, dual-use materials or other goods, are subject to strict customs control at our borders,— the Deputy Prime Minister stressed.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk said that Georgia and Russia are discussing the possibility of smuggling military equipment and spare parts through the territory of Georgia.
“Our Main Intelligence Directorate publicly declared and accused Russia and Georgia of negotiating the opening of a smuggling channel behind our backs. It [is] not about pasta or buckwheat, it is about military equipment, about military spare parts, — Vereshchuk announced.
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After Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine and other countries began to impose sanctions against it, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that joining the economic and financial sanctions would harm the inhabitants of the republic. On April 3, he again took the same position.
A GORBI poll commissioned by the Imedi TV company showed that 64.5% of the polled Georgian citizens called the lifting of sanctions correct.
However, on April 1, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said in an interview that the country is participating in all international financial sanctions and resolutions to support Ukraine.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recalled the ambassador from Georgia. He called the reason “immoral position in relation to sanctions”, as well as “obstacles for volunteers” who want to help Ukraine. The Georgian authorities emphasized that they would not send volunteers from their citizens to the country, because “this may be perceived as participation in hostilities.”
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But Tbilisi is not even thinking about the forceful restoration of territorial integrity
The President of Ukraine said that the Ukrainian ambassadors to Georgia and Morocco would return to Kyiv. He believes that they are not doing their job: “With all due respect: if there are no arms supplies, sanctions and restrictions for Russian business, then please look for another job,” Zelensky said. Secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov recently unequivocally called on Georgia to open a “second front” against Russia.
Many questions were also raised by the recent visit to Tbilisi by Deputy Minister of the British Armed Forces James Happy, who met with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze. Some observers interpreted these talks as yet another attempt by the West to draw Georgia, if not into a war, then at least into a more open confrontation with the Russian Federation and force it to join the anti-Russian sanctions.
In Tbilisi, provocations by functionaries of the Kiev regime are still assessed negatively. Representatives of the ruling party “Georgian Dream” say that the war with Russia is not in the interests of the Georgian people. Even the announcement of South Ossetian President Bibilov about a referendum on joining Russia did not shake the peaceful rhetoric of the Georgian leadership. Recall that the Ukrainian Ambassador to Georgia, Igor Dolgov, was recalled to Kyiv on March 1, after Tbilisi refused to join the economic sanctions against Moscow. However, on March 15, he returned to Georgia.
Ex-head of the State Chancellery of Georgia, Petre Mamradze, commented on the situation especially for MK.
– No, there is nothing similar from the West. There was no call to somehow join the war or somehow return the territories in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
I have constant contact with Western diplomats, and I have not heard anything like this from them.
You know that Georgia has joined Ukraine on all political platforms. In the Council of Europe, Georgia first voted to suspend Russia's membership, and then to expel it. Voted for the investigation in The Hague. Georgia voted in the UN General Assembly and condemned the actions of the Russian Federation as aggression.
Georgia did not join the economic sanctions against Russia, but Hungary, a member of NATO and the European Union, Turkey, and Israel did not join the sanctions.
For comparison: Armenia abstained during the vote in the General Assembly, the Azerbaijani delegation left altogether from the hall. The countries of Central Asia did the same. Only Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine voted “yes” from the post-Soviet states. So, as the American ambassador recently stated, Georgia has done everything a democratic country can do to support Ukraine.
– There are Georgian volunteers there. But these are volunteers. The government cannot interfere with a person if he himself goes to Poland and from there makes his way to Ukraine.
Zelensky and his company, by the way, have been categorically warned by the United States and the West not to touch Crimea. Because Crimea is already the territory of the Russian Federation, and there will be a Patriotic War.
Yes, there are calls from Kyiv to “take a walk” towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Our government answered this very clearly: even if all the Russian military were withdrawn from there, Georgia would never think of resolving the problem by force. Because Abkhazians and Ossetians will fight there with the weapons they have. How they fought against the Georgian troops in 2008, when there were no Russian troops yet. This will be bloodshed, which we will not allow.
– This is complete insanity after all that Georgia has done for Ukraine politically. The people now donate everything they can for Ukrainians: clothes, food, medicines. There are queues at the reception points. The ambassador from Georgia is recalled when the ambassador from Belarus has not yet been recalled.
– Because Vano Merabishvili is in Kyiv, released from prison, the backbone of the Saakashvili regime. There sits the right hand of Misha Zurab Adeishvili, who is present at the meetings of the Security Council of Ukraine. Gia Lordkipanidze, a former deputy, is sitting there. Merabishvili, who staged a bloody tragedy in Lapankuri. Now he has become the head of the military counterintelligence of Ukraine. This is a criminal, a man for whom the rope cries. Here is such a company.
According to Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, Tbilisi takes part in all international financial sanctions imposed against Russia because of the situation around Ukraine .
“Our country participates in all international financial sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia, and this really already means something for our financial sector. Now our country participates in all international resolutions that are created to support Ukraine “, she said to CNN.
Recall that on February 25, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that Tbilisi had no plans to impose sanctions against Russia. Later, in the national bank of the republic, the Georgian branch of VTB Bank was deprived of the right to serve individuals.
The Bank of Georgia has canceled the special conditions for Russians that it introduced for opening an account. Previously, citizens were asked to sign a number of provisions, including “condemn the special operation in Ukraine” .jpg” alt=”The Bank of Georgia has ceased to require the Russians to “condemn the special operation”” />
The largest private bank in Georgia Bank of Georgia (Bank of Georgia) canceled the requirement to “condemn the special operation” in Ukraine for Russians who want to open an account, RIA Novosti reported in the bank.
“The regulations that were previously introduced by our bank no longer exist. A citizen of Russia will not have to sign these documents, while the person's application for opening a bank account will be considered by the commission, the decision is made on an individual basis, — said in a financial institution.
RBC sent a request to the press service of the Bank of Georgia.
Another Georgian bank, Terabank, told RIA Novosti that it had not introduced “any new regulations.” All Russian citizens in Georgia, except for those under sanctions, like other foreigners, can open a bank account and receive appropriate services, it noted. The same was noted in the TVS bank. “We do not force any documents to be signed”, — told the agency there.
The fact that the Bank of Georgia began to require Russians who want to open accounts to sign a number of provisions became known on March 4. As Interpressnews reported, a statement in English appeared on the bank's website. According to him, the Russians had to assure that they “condemn Russia's aggression against Georgia and Ukraine”, consider their country an “occupier”; and recognize the territorial integrity of Georgia.
As Kommersant reported on March 5, due to unwillingness to sign such a document, the Bank of Georgia refused three Russian families who arrived in Georgia on vacation.
At the same time, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated that he condemns cases of discrimination against Russian citizens on ethnic grounds and called on law enforcement agencies to take measures to prevent and suppress any physical clashes and attempts to incite ethnic hatred. Those responsible for such actions should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, asked Russians and compatriots abroad to report “facts of violations, pressure, blackmail, threats, any form of discrimination. According to the representative of the department, Maria Zakharova, a round-the-clock hotline has been set up in almost every embassy and consulate. “We will systematize all this in order to work with local authorities, in international organizations, in order to put an end to the persecution of Russians where there are such manifestations,” — she said.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the denial of access to biolaboratories in Georgia and Ukraine
The United States denied Russia, as well as special observers, access to biolaboratories in Ukraine and Georgia. This speaks of military experiments prohibited by international conventions, said Maria Zakharova. Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova on the air of the TVC channel.
“We sought access to these laboratories through international legal institutions (in Georgia and Ukraine). What were we told? … They (USA.— RBC) said fantastic things. Visit laboratories? Of course. Sit in the reception area. <…> And you can’t go inside the laboratories, neither you nor specialized observers, — Zakharova said.
According to her, this speaks of the experiments carried out in these laboratories, which are “outlawed.” Zakharova stressed that these biolaboratories are controlled by the Pentagon, which means that research in them is connected specifically with military programs, since the department “will not spend a single cent without a clear focus on the national military interests of the United States.”
In early March, Igor Kirillov, head of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Troops, reported on 30 biological laboratories in Ukraine that were commissioned by the Pentagon. He later stated that they could be used to create bioagents that could selectively target ethnic groups.
On March 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that biological weapons components were being created in Ukraine in the immediate vicinity of the Russian border.
In the United States, accusations of developing biological weapons in Ukraine are denied. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki tweeted that Russia could use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine or organize a “false flag” operation. with its use. She also pointed out that China “supported this propaganda.”
Later, the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that a possible union between Moscow and Beijing would lead to “incredible” imbalance in the world, therefore, greater respect for the law in the international arena is needed in order not to “push Russia towards China.” Zakharova wrote in her Telegram channel that this is the “false diplomacy of Brussels” and “vile manipulations”, from which there are more crises in the world.
Kyiv also denied the information about the development of biological weapons. “No one has developed any chemical or any other weapons of mass destruction on my land,” — said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to him, the laboratories on the territory of the country have remained since the times of the USSR and they are “engaged in ordinary science”, not military technologies.
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the refusal of Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO was correct, ZDF reports.
During a conversation with the channel's correspondents, he noted that currently this issue is not on the agenda of the North Atlantic Alliance.
“It was the right decision, then there were very long negotiations in NATO on this issue,” Scholz noted.
At the same time, he also stressed that there was allegedly no plan to deploy alliance missiles on the territory of Ukraine.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a military special operation on the territory of Ukraine. According to the head of state, its goal is the demilitarization and denazification of the country. At the same time, he stressed that Moscow's plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories.
Earlier it was reported that Germany intends to supply Ukraine with 1,000 anti-tank guns and 500 Stinger missiles.
Volodymyr Zelensky motivated the recall of the ambassador from Georgia by “an obstacle to volunteers” and Tbilisi’s position in relation to sanctions. Georgia does not want to be drawn into the conflict, Georgian Dream responded ” alt=”Georgia promised not to be drawn into the conflict in Ukraine” />
The decision of the President of Ukraine to recall the ambassador from Georgia is inconsistent and indicates that Kyiv wants to drag the country into the war, said Irakli Kobakhidze , chairman of the Georgian Dream party, Rustavi 2 reports.
“We cannot get involved in a military conflict. There was a direct attempt [in Georgia] to organize the sending of volunteers to participate in the conflict, it was not achieved, and this was followed by this very sad step, — said Kobakhidze, commenting on the decision of the Ukrainian leader.
According to him, this step is unacceptable and unjustified, especially given the actions of Georgia in recent days. Kobakhidze stressed that Georgia understands that Ukraine is in a difficult situation and it would be wrong to criticize Kyiv.
Earlier, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced the immediate recall of the ambassador from Georgia “for obstacles volunteers who want to help us for <…> position on sanctions. Zelensky pointed out that the country's diplomats in the current situation are making “fair and absolutely necessary decisions”; in relation to those states that “changed their word and international law.”
After the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine on February 24, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said that Tbilisi would not join the sanctions against Moscow, because intends to be guided by “only national interests”, and supporting Western sanctions will harm the country.
At the same time, Garibashvili condemned Moscow's actions and called them contrary to international law. According to him, the Georgian government is making every effort to provide Kiev with political and humanitarian assistance.
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg: the alliance will hold military exercises in Georgia before the end of the year At the same time, the Georgian Defense Minister said that the country's entry into the alliance is the only way to preserve the country's territorial integrity
NATO will hold military exercises in Georgia before the end of the year, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference following the meeting of the defense ministers of the countries— members of the organization, broadcasted by the Guardian News YouTube channel.
“There will be exercises in Georgia later this year, NATO will take part in them, since we are conducting these exercises together. These exercises demonstrate how closely we cooperate, — he said.
Stoltenberg once again announced the presence of Russian troops on the borders of Ukraine and stressed that the alliance does not observe their withdrawal from the border. “They have enough troops, enough capabilities to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in a very short time or without any warning,” & mdash; he said and stressed that the alliance will continue to support the sovereignty of Ukraine and Georgia.
At the same time, Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, who is visiting Brussels, said that the country's entry into NATO is the only way to preserve the country's territorial integrity, reports Reuters.
The aggravation in the east of Ukraine has been going on since last autumn, when the Western media began to report that Russia was preparing an invasion of the republic. Repeatedly called the date of the invasion. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied information about the preparation of a military operation and pointed to an increase in the NATO contingent near the Russian borders.
Against the background of the escalation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in early December that Moscow needed legal security guarantees. At the end of the year, the Russian side submitted security proposals to the United States and NATO, including points about not accepting Ukraine and Georgia into the alliance and not using the territory of Russia's neighboring states for the deployment of offensive weapons.
Later, the North Atlantic Alliance sent Russia responses in writing , however, as Putin noted, the key problems of Russia were not taken into account there. At the same time, the United States, in its response, expressed its readiness to discuss confidence-building measures in organizing exercises in Europe, not to deploy nuclear weapons in its eastern part, and to continue discussing security issues.
In 2008, NATO summit in Bucharest adopted a political statement that Ukraine and Georgia would become members of the organization, but refused to provide them with an action plan, which is the first step in the legal procedure. Today, both countries enjoy NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner status, which provides broad access to the alliance's programs and exercises. Australia, Jordan, Finland and Sweden also have this status.
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