Georgia follows Putin’s lead, new report says – POLITICO – 24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today

Georgia follows Putin’s lead, new report says – POLITICO – Latest International Breaking News Today

Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine is dividing Europe’s eastern neighborhood — with some countries moving closer to the European Union but others, including Georgia, gladly following Russia’s path to authoritarianism, a report published Wednesday said.

The report by Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum noted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine boosted relations between some eastern states and the EU on energy, trade and transport. But while public administration increased in Ukraine and Moldova, things are trending downward in “politically polarised Georgia,” the report finds.

“Dictatorships or autocratic regimes, they learn from each other. And I think there is definitely a learning curve that we see in some of the countries. We also saw it in Georgia,” Alexandra Sabou of the partnership told POLITICO.

Georgia attempted to install a Putin-style foreign agent law in March 2023, which led to major domestic protests. The law was “kind of a copy-paste from Russia, with some … local elements — but the similarity was obvious,” Sabou said.

Georgia also experienced a plunge in democracy, good governance and policy convergence — which mirrors the country’s political polarization, the Eastern Partnership Index 2023 found. “Basically in every area, there was a decrease in spite of the fact that the EU rewarded it with the candidate status,” Sabou said.

Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia all applied for EU membership after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. But now, the trio has become “a less distinct entity and the lines between EU neighbourhood policy and EU enlargement policy have blurred,” the report said. 

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While Georgia slowly drifts away, Ukraine and Moldova “are steadily making the kinds of systemic changes that Brussels expects them to do to proceed along the accession path,” according to the report. 

The EU took the next step with Ukraine and Moldova, agreeing to open accession talks after a summit of European leaders in December. Georgia has so far only been granted candidate status.

-24 Global News | Latest International Breaking News Today
#Georgia #Putins #lead #report #POLITICO

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