Foreign Policy: “The Kremlin Pulls on Georgia. It’s time for the West to stop taking Tbilisi for granted”

A Stalin impersonator poses at a memorial service for the Soviet dictator in his Georgian hometown of Gori. Photo VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/Getty Images, Mar 10, 2015, Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia openly states its European-Atlantic integration is irreversible but is this really the case, asks Michael Cecire for international political and global affairs media outlet Foreign Policy.

In Cecire’s latest piece, published on March 9, the author questions what Georgia’s truly think of its Euro-Atlantic integration, the influence of the Georgian Orthodox Church and how "warning signs [are] going off in Georgia” as Russia targets the former Soviet state to prevent it from joining EU and NATO structures.

He used figures to show how growing numbers in Georgia wanted to see the country move towards the Eurasian Union – a Moscow-led EU alternative. 

A full 20 percent favored the idea of Georgian membership. This percentage has risen steadily from 11 percent in late 2013 to 16 percent in mid-2014. Who are these Georgians who would surrender their country’s sovereignty to the same power that keeps a steely grip on Georgian territory and carves other neighboring states with impunity?,” asks Cecire.

And who is behind this change in social perception? Outspoken pro-Russian opposition political groups, who in one instance regarding the anti-discrimination law, was supported by the Church as sides said the law encouraged non-hetrosexual relations, noted Cecire. Together these voices are becoming louder in Georgian society.

He says now is the time for the West to "throw a much-needed lifeline to Georgian liberals”.

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