27 September – 29 years since the Fall of Sokhumi
On 27 September 29 years passed since Sokhumi fell. The conflict in Abkhazia started on 14 August and lasted for 13 months and 13 days, ending on 27 September 1993, with the fall of Sokhumi. As a result of the war, more than 10 000 people died, around 300 000 became Internally Displaced Persons and still are not allowed to return to their own houses. 29 years after Sokhumi fell, Russia has Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, both internationally recognized as Georgian territories, still under occupation. Russia continues so called “Borderisation” process, putting up physical border on the occupation lines and dividing local communities. Human rights situation on occupied territories is dire.
More than 115,000 people crossed the Georgia-Russia border, after mobilization in Russia
More than 37,000 vehicles and more than 115,000 people crossed the Russian customs point “Zemo Lars” on the border of Georgia within a week. According to the Russian TASS, the Vice Prime Minister of North Ossetia, part of the Russian Federation, Irbek Tomaev commented: “The flow of light vehicles through our republic has significantly increased in the direction of Georgia.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization on 21 September. According to him, plan is to recruit 300,000 people.
EU Ambassador Herczynski on Deoligarchization, Anti-EU Narrative
Ambassador Pawel Herczynski, the new Head of the European Union Delegation to Georgia, sat down for an interview with Interpressnews agency and said inclusive process is the key for fulfilling the 12 recommendations that the European Commission set for Georgia to be granted the candidate status. He also said that allegations about the attempts by “external forces” to drag Georgia into war are “rubbish”.
Speaking about the need for Georgia to fulfill the EU recommendations, Ambassador Herczynski noted that although the government has “a very ambitious plan” to implement 12 conditions, “it is for everyone across the political lines to build bridges and to work constructively in order to make progress in those 12 areas”.
In this context, the Ambassador noted that the government needs to ensure inclusivity, while the opposition needs to maintain a constructive approach. “The opposition needs to work together with the government to make sure that the progress is made,” he stressed.
Asked by the journalist how the country should fulfill the European Commission’s recommendation on Deoligarchization, the EU Ambassador responded that the issue is “very simple and this is not an issue that is only unique to Georgia.” “There are vested interests, and there is too much influence of business upon politics,” he noted.
“I think that having less influence of rich businessmen upon politics would strengthen Georgia, would attract foreign investment, would make sure that this country is attractive for prospective investors. It’s for Georgians to decide, and we sincerely hope that progress will be made in this regard,” the Ambassador said.
Asked about the criticism voiced by government officials against some MEPs, the EU Ambassador said that criticism is always acceptable, but stressed: “when you want to become a member of the European family, you are usually very careful about how you describe this family members.”
The EU Ambassador slammed the allegations about “external forces” trying to drag Georgia into war and to open the second front as “absurd” and “pure nonsense.”
U.S. Delivers USD 11.5 Million in Military Aid to Georgia
The U.S. Embassy to Georgia announced on 22 September that the United States had delivered USD 11.5 million in military equipment and ammunition to the Georgia Ministry of Defense.
“This is just one way the U.S. supports our strategic partnership with Georgia,” the Embassy noted.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on his visit to Ukraine in early September that the Biden administration would provide USD 2 billion in long-term foreign military financing to Ukraine and 18 of its neighbors, including NATO members and regional security partners “most potentially at risk for future Russian aggression.”