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.
The overall message here is that Tbilisi is keenly aware of Western media. Let us hope that they continue to perceive this pressure and return Georgia to a more normal democratic path — away from Russia.
Georgia’s political development will be smoother if the two leaders reach a modus vivendi in which a vigorous opposition is able to operate freely, irrespective of the party in power. The people of Georgia deserve no less.
This new investigation is sure to raise more questions about Ivanishvili’s commitment to the democratic progress Georgia made under his predecessor.