Georgia is the most pluralist and freest country amongst its neighbors. Yet, the post-1992 governing regimes have had both positive and negative impacts.
Tbilisi and Moscow are on the verge of finalizing a transit agreement they initially made in 2011. But political fears could still sink the deal, and its big economic benefits.
Europe’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership region has been cemented by Russian aggression. Yet, for internal reasons, the EU is trying to avoid the costs linked to the countries’ integration.
EU association deals with Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova have proven to be key drivers of reform in all three countries. The emphasis should now be on implementation, not simply legislative adoption.
Corruption is not so much a problem for governments as it is an approach to government, one chosen by far too many rulers today.
Although Georgia is still a success story in an authoritarian neighborhood, three recent trends are a reminder that elements of that story are reversible.
Geopolitical conditions in the South Caucasus have experienced a substantial shift in recent years. Washington needs to adjust assumptions in advancing U.S. interests in the region to make the most of its capabilities.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the organizing foreign policy concept of the Xi Jinping era.
The United States has important but not vital interests in the South Caucasus, which include preserving regional stability; preventing the resumption of frozen conflicts; and supporting democratic change and better governance as well as the international integration of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
Georgia has made steady progress since independence, but ongoing challenges call for further integration with the West, improved relations with Russia, and deeper ties with other partners.