Georgia is now indisputably tilted more toward Moscow than it has ever been. It continues to claim a European future, but its dominant political class is coming to see the value of Moscow not merely as a trading and foreign policy partner, but as a governing model.
While Georgia has gone very far to show its European bona fides, its recent actions speak of a nation not so much hungry for Europe as expecting it.
Each day is a new day. If Europe fails to seize its chances at the end of this month, or if the hurdles before the Eastern Partnership nations are too great, Putin may yet have another chance — the only chance he needs.
As with Ukraine, Putin is testing Europe’s resolve to see its expansion plans, and the dreams on which it was made, stand.
Tehran has ruthlessly exploited its near environs almost perfectly, challenging halting Western inroads in the area through soft power and trade while also never angering Moscow, a jealous if still-wounded imperial giant.
Despite signs of growing political instability in Tbilisi, this promises to be the groundwork for a revolution in Georgia, the former Soviet Union, and Europe as a whole.
Five years on, Moscow continues its program of destabilization; only the administration in Tbilisi appears to be less resistant.
As long as Georgia’s leadership is more concerned with settling scores than governing, Georgia’s decade of democratic progress is in jeopardy.
If Iran could easily turn to other commercial outlets, it already would be using them. Indeed, despite the recent tensions, an Iran-Georgia trade forum went ahead in early July, with business meetings and a product exhibition.
Holding officials accountable for abusing their positions is critical; nevertheless, democracy will be forever unstable and insecure if the victors use their newly acquired powers to prosecute (or persecute) their opponents.