CrisisWatch Georgia

Unchanged Situation

UN General Assembly adopted Georgia’s resolution on rights of internally displaced people and refugees from breakaway regions, while EU welcomed govt’s positive political steps.

Georgia won overwhelming support for UN resolution on breakaway regions. In notable triumph for Georgian diplomacy that underscored Moscow’s growing isolation on global stage, Georgia 8 June secured support of 100 countries for UN General Assembly resolution that, while not legally binding, asserts rights of internally displaced persons and refugees from breakaway regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia to return to their homes, emphasising importance of protecting their property rights and condemning any instances of “forced demographic changes”; similar vote in 2008 had secured only 14 votes in favour. Russia, which 8 June said resolution undermined “normalisation in the region”, voted against it alongside nine other states, including Belarus, Syria and Nicaragua; Russian-backed de facto authorities of South Ossetia and Abkhazia 15 June claimed resolution was “another act of repeated political farce”.

Govt took steps aligned with EU accession path. PM Garibashvili 21 June announced he had “clearly confirmed” to European and U.S. partners that ruling Georgian Dream party would not renew attempts to adopt foreign influence bill, which triggered widespread domestic opposition and tensions with Western countries in March. EU 22 June welcomed announcement; it also praised Georgian Dream’s 21 June decision not to pass controversial de-oligarchisation law, and 22 June pardoning of former minister Nika Gvaramia, whom authorities had accused of abuse of power.

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