Levan Petriashvili, illegally detained by the Russian occupiers, is free

Levan Petriashvili, who was unlawfully detained by Russian occupation forces near Ergneti village in the Gori municipality, is now free and within the territory controlled by official Tbilisi.

This information has been disseminated by the State Security Service.

The “hotline” mechanism played a crucial role in facilitating the release of Levan Petriashvili from illegal imprisonment. The Government of Georgia consistently raised the issue of his immediate release from unlawful detention during the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meetings and Geneva international discussions.

Georgian Government kept international partners informed throughout the process. Collaborating with these partners, the central government is actively engaged in efforts to secure the release of all Georgian citizens unlawfully detained in the occupied territories.

The statement of the Security Service holds the occupying power fully responsible for all destructive actions carried out in the occupied regions and along the occupation line.

US Ambassador: China is a country that is getting closer to Russia, and Russia has occupied part of Georgia

The new US Ambassador to Georgia, Robin Dunnigan, discussed various foreign and domestic political issues in an interview with Radio Liberty.

Dunnigan congratulated the citizens of Georgia on the positive recommendation from the European Commission regarding the granting of candidate status to Georgia. According to her, this is “an important step forward towards integration into the European Union, and I believe it is also crucial for Georgia’s aspirations towards NATO.”

Simultaneously, she emphasized the necessity for NATO members to witness the Georgian government’s commitment to looking westward and integrating into Western values, constituting a political move to strengthen democracy. She stressed the importance of unity and highlighted that this process should parallel European integration.

The ambassador underscored the need for the 2024 parliamentary elections to be conducted democratically and fairly. She stated, “In a democracy, the most crucial aspect is that the citizens’ voices are heard and that their votes are fairly counted, enabling them to choose their desired government. The United States will actively participate in and is already involved in this process.”

Dunnigan criticized Russia’s construction of a military port in Ochamchire, deeming it a violation of the 2008 ceasefire agreement and a threat to regional security.

Regarding the Georgia-China strategic partnership agreement, she pointed out that “In that agreement, Georgia unequivocally recognizes China’s sovereignty, but we do not see a reciprocal approach from China towards Georgia. Meanwhile, China is aligning itself with Russia, which has occupied part of Georgia. I find this to be an undesirable situation.”

The ambassador expressed his hope that discussions about USAID’s involvement in the revolution would not be a major topic, considering the government’s statements on the matter as ridiculous.

She also dismissed Georgian Dream’s rhetoric about a “global war party” wanting to involve Georgia in a war as absurd.

IRI opinion poll:  86% of Citizens of Georgia support  joining EU 

According to the opinion poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), 86% of Georgians support the country’s accession to the European Union. Poll also revealed that 51% of respondents consider the European Union to be Georgia’s most important political partner.

In terms of political partnerships, the breakdown is as follows: 32% – USA, 19% – Azerbaijan, 17% – Ukraine, 16% – Turkey, 9% – Armenia, 9% – Russia and Great Britain, 7% – Israel, 6% – China, 1% – Iran. Respondents were allowed to name multiple partners.

Regarding economic partnerships, 43% identify the European Union as the main economic partner, followed by 31% for the USA, 28% for Turkey, 24% for Azerbaijan, 16% for Russia, and 12% for Ukraine. Similar to political partnerships, respondents were able to name multiple economic partners.

When it comes to foreign policy orientation, 44% believe the country’s foreign policy should be completely pro-Western, a slight decrease from 50% in March. Meanwhile, 33% advocate for a pro-Western stance while maintaining relations with Russia, and 8% support a pro-Russian foreign policy alongside relations with the West. Only 3% explicitly support a pro-Russian foreign policy.

The study shows that 86% of citizens support joining the European Union, with 74% supporting it even if it means cutting off trade relations with Russia. In terms of joining NATO, 79% of citizens express support.

Regarding perceived threats, 77% of Georgians see Russia as the main threat to Georgia, while 12% identify Turkey, and 9% the USA. Regarding economic threats, 69% consider Russia the main threat, followed by Turkey at 11%, the USA at 6%, and China at 5%.

Despite the perceived threats, 57% favour dialogue with Russia, an increase of 4% from the March survey, while 40% do not favour it.

Regarding Russia’s aggression against Georgia, 73% believe it has not ended, with only 6% thinking it has ended and is unlikely to continue. Additionally, 73% of respondents oppose Russian citizens entering Georgia without a visa, registering a business, or buying property.

The study involved 1,200 permanent residents of Georgia over the age of 18, ensuring a representative sample. Residents of occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia did not participate, and the response rate was 73%. The margin of error is ±2.5%, and USAID funded the research.

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