Russia/Georgia – Russian Interference in Georgian Politics: The Activation of Ultra-Right Forces (The Jamestown Foundation)

Beka Chedia

On August 2, Irma Inasvhili, one of the founders of the Georgian pro-Russian political party Alliance of Patriots, posted her faction’s open letter to “Your Excellency,” Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking for his assistance in repairing cooperation between their two countries. The Alliance of Patriots informs Putin—the head of a state that has occupied 20 percent of Georgia’s territory since August 2008—that the party shares the Kremlin’s concerns about Georgian cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and has already developed a concept for Georgia’s military neutrality (, August 2). The published letter (signed by dozens of former parliamentary deputies, previous officials and even retired generals) claims that the majority of the Georgian population supports neutrality. But opinion polls show that the opposite is true: 77 percent of Georgians (61 percent fully and 16 percent somewhat) back Georgia joining NATO (, August 2).

Russian Interference in Georgian Politics: The Activation of Ultra-Right Forces – Jamestown


Europe/Georgia – Charles Michel Tries to Keep Georgia From Leaving the European Orbit (The Jamestown Foundation)

Giorgi Menadbe writes: On July 29, Charles Michel, the president of the European Council (the main policy-setting body of the European Union), released a statement in response to the unexpected decision of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party to annul the accord of April 19, 2021 (Interpressnews, July 29). This document, referred to as the “Charles Michel Agreement,” created a chance to end the longstanding confrontation between the Georgian authorities and the opposition

go to The Jamestown Foundation: Charles Michel Tries to Keep Georgia From Leaving the European Orbit – Jamestown


Russia/Georgia/Defense – Kremlin raises red flag about ‘any covert steps against Russia’ during drills in Georgia (TASS)

TASS writes: NATO is not hiding who is the alliance’s key adversary and it’s important that the scenario of the Agile Spirit 2021 drills that kicked off in Georgia involving 12 member-states and three partner nations does not imply any hidden agenda against Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday. “Obviously, as far as we are concerned, it is essential that the scenarios of such drills do not imply any covert steps against our country. Still, the scenarios of the drills are drawn up in NATO and the alliance is not hiding who the key foe is for them,” Peskov said, commenting on Azerbaijan’s participation in these exercises. Azerbaijan is a sovereign country and Russia appreciates its partner ties with Baku, Peskov stressed. “Azerbaijan is a sovereign state. We value our ties with Azerbaijan. These are partnership relations and there is a shared political will to further cultivate these relations,” the Kremlin spokesman pointed out. NATO’s Agile Spirit 2021 drills kicked off on July 26. The alliance’s drills involve over 2,500 troops from Azerbaijan, Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Spain, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the United States, Turkey, Ukraine and Estonia. More than 1,500 troops are from Georgia and another 700 personnel are from the US.


(Europe/Georgia/Moldova/Ukraine) Newer EU members support Associated Trio as ‘champions’ (Euractiv)

Vlagyiszlav Makszimov writes for Euractiv: Though vast majority of EU countries welcome deeper integration with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, their “Associated Trio” initiative finds more support within Eastern and Central Europe, while the Commission and Western member states remain hesitant to adopt the term.

go to Euractiv: Newer EU members support Associated Trio as ‘champions’ –


Georgia/West – Why the West Should Not Forget About Georgia (Natia Seskuria, RUSI)

If the US wants to counter Russian hybrid threats and uphold stability in the South Caucasus, it must put Georgia back on the international agenda.

Why the West Should Not Forget About Georgia | Royal United Services Institute (

Main Image Credit A Georgian Defense Forces soldier pictured during an August War memorial ceremony at Vaziani Military Base, Georgia, 2018. Courtesy of Barney Low/Alamy Stock Photo


Azerbaijan/Armenia/Georgia – Georgian mediation obtains the release of 15 Armenian POWs by Azerbaijan (Georgi Gotev, Euractiv)

The released Armenian POWs. [Facebook page of the PM of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan]

Azerbaijan on Saturday (12 June) released to Armenia 15 prisoners of war captured last year during hostilities over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, under a deal mediated by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and saluted by the US and the EU.

According to the foreign ministry in Baku under the deal Yerevan reciprocated by providing Baku with maps of minefields in the conflict zone.

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stated that the US was “grateful” to the Government of Georgia for its “vital role in facilitating the release”, and Garibashvili said he was “proud” of the role his country played in close coordination with US Acting Assistant Secretary Philip T. Reeker.


Fighting broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia in September 2020 over Nagorno-Karabakh, claiming around 6,000 lives over six weeks.

The war ended in November with a Russian-brokered ceasefire under which Yerevan ceded swathes of territory it had controlled for decades.

On Saturday, “Azerbaijan handed over to Armenia 15 detained Armenians in exchange for the map of 97,000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines in the Agdam district,” one of the territories Armenia has ceded to Baku, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also thanked US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, top US diplomat for Europe Philip Reeker, European Council President Charles Michel, and the OSCE Swedish chairmanship for their roles in the negotiations.

“Our brothers returned to their families thanks to the efforts of Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, our Georgian brothers as well as our partners from the US and EU,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told journalists.

He said he had earlier “provided Azerbaijan with a certain number of minefield maps through Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.”

Garibashvili’s office said in a statement: “An important step has been made towards the amelioration of the security environment in the South Caucasus region.”

‘First step’

A senior EU diplomat said Michel helped broker “parallel humanitarian gestures” prior to the agreement’s announcement.

Michel considered it “a first step towards renewing confidence, an effort the EU is ready to fully support”, the diplomat added.



EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell also welcomed “the actions taken by Armenia and Azerbaijan and facilitated by Georgia”. He said that these gestures would “hopefully open the path for further cooperation between the sides and the ultimate release of all Armenian detainees, as well as the handing over of all available maps of mined areas to avoid further civilian casualties.”

Russia, which has deployed peacekeeping troops to Karabakh, also welcomed the move.

“Wonderful and long-awaited news. We welcome such steps,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Telegram.

The mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the most heavily mined places in the former Soviet Union.

Seven Azerbaijani troops and 18 civilians have died and 110 have been wounded by mines in and near Nagorno-Karabakh since the ceasefire, the Azerbaijani government says.

Both Azerbaijani and Armenian forces planted mines during a bloody conflict in the early 1990s.

Tensions have been again running high since May, when Armenia accused Azerbaijan’s military of crossing its southern border to “lay siege” to a lake shared by the two countries.

Pashinyan at the time asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for military support.

Moscow said it would help with the delimitation and demarcation of the neighbours’ borders.

The President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said last month that Azerbaijan was ready for pace talks with Armenia, while Pashinyan announced later the two ex-Soviet nations were holding discussions on the delimitation and demarcation of their shared borders.

Ethnic Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan as the Soviet Union collapsed, and the ensuing conflict has claimed around 30,000 lives.


Iran/Georgia/Azerbaijan – Iran seeking to launch extraterrestrial cultivation projects in Georgia and Azerbaijan (IRNA)

Iran seeking to launch extraterrestrial cultivation projects in Georgia and Azerbaijan

The head of the East Azarbaijan province’s Agriculture Jihad Organization highlighted Iran’s potential in making investments in extraterrestrial cultivation and said his organization is currently awaiting final agreements with Azerbaijan and Georgia in this regard.

Akbar Fathi said on Monday that extraterrestrial cultivation is different from from importing agricultural products from other countries.

Some countries have the capacity to produce agricultural products, but they do not have the knowledge and tools to produce them so identifying their potential could help cultivate desired products, he added.

Fathi added that extraterrestrial cultivation plan is being carried in the context of an understanding with Georgia for corn production.


(Europe/Georgia) EU-mediated Georgia crisis talks fail on second try (Euractiv)

The second round of European Union-mediated talks between Georgia’s ruling party and the opposition failed Wednesday (31 March) to resolve a political impasse sparked by elections last year, an EU mediator said.

EU-mediated Georgia crisis talks fail on second try


(Georgia) Georgia Is Rebuilding Its Air Force (The Jamestown Foundation)

On March 6, a modernized Georgian Su-25UB Grach (NATO classification: “Frogfoot”) ground-attack/close air support (CAS) jet, successfully completed a post-repair test flight (, March 6).

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