GEORGIA The ambiguities of Tbilisi, between NATO and Russia

Prime Minister Garibashvili affirms that Georgia is faithful to the values ​​of the Atlantic Alliance and Europe. However, members of his party attack the West. According to one expert, the Georgian Dream tries to reconcile the pro-Russian and pro-European sentiments of Georgian society in order to stay in power.

Moscow () – At the recent NATO summit held in Madrid, the Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, assured Western leaders that Tbilisi is faithful to the values ​​of the Atlantic Alliance and Europe. However, in his country, supporters and members of his Georgian Dream party accuse the West of wanting to draw Georgia into the war with Russia at all costs. The complaints were so strong that they provoked the reaction of the US ambassador in Tbilisi, Kelly Degnan, who officially denied Washington’s pressure on Georgian politicians, reminding them who is really the friend and the enemy of their country.

Garibashvili’s press office released an endless series of photos of the Premier with US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other leaders of Western countries, as well as senior NATO and NATO officials. EU. Subsequently, the Georgian Prime Minister posted on his Twitter channel a photo together with NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and wrote: “Georgia is one of the most reliable and effective partners of the Alliance, and intends to cooperate in the defense of peace, stability and the development of common values ​​in our region and beyond”.

Similar statements accompanied the handshake he exhibited with Charles Michel, head of the Council of the European Union, assuring that Georgia is willing to meet the demands that the Europeans raised on June 17 for the granting of candidate status to the EU. .

The ostensible availability of Garibashvili generated confusion in his homeland, after days of violent verbal confrontations between the prime minister and the opposition, precisely on European issues. Many remember his recent statements against the West for “not having honored the blood shed by the Georgians in the wars against Russia.” Garibashvili spoke harshly against the EU, which rejected Georgia, but reached agreements with Ukraine and Moldova. He also complained about the fact that “only when Georgia has restored its territorial integrity with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, then it will be able to join the NATO”.

Some MPs who are particularly critical of the West have formally abandoned the Georgian Dream, but remain supporters of the government. The opposition calls this “a typical Ivanishvili trick”, and recalls earlier maneuvers by the party founder and former prime minister, who used to move MPs from one group to another at his convenience. Ivanishvili himself recently used this expression, celebrating his victory 10 years ago against President Saakashvili: “I had to use a little trick, but not everyone understood it,” he said, alluding precisely to some rather audacious parliamentary games.

Constitutionalist Vakhušti Menabde said in remarks that the change in the prime minister’s rhetoric and the Georgian Dream’s palace maneuvers are aimed solely at preserving power: “They are trying to juggle pro-Russian and pro-European sentiments in our society, trying to catch two chickens with a single fox, but they will end up not catching any… they are only interested in power, whatever it costs, whether it is by allying with the Europeans or with the Russians.

To confront the ambiguous strategies of the Georgian Dream, the opposition took to the streets and demonstrated in front of the Tbilisi Parliament. Gathered under the slogan “Home to Europe,” the demonstration began on the morning of July 3 and continued through the night until the next morning, the day the United States celebrates its independence.

In all regions of the country, not only in the capital, those who support the change of government in favor of a “technical” one, in accordance with European demands, received strong pressure from local authorities to prevent the demonstrations. The diatribes provoked confrontations, even violent ones, which culminated in several journalists being affected. Among them, the owner of the opposition television channel Pirvely, Vato Tsereteli, who was assaulted by three deputies on the territory of the US embassy in Tbilisi, during the reception organized on the occasion of Independence Day.

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Written by Editor TLN

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