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The Daily Beat: 27 December

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili reported confidently and at length about his government’s achievements in 2022. “Keeping the peace, keeping stability…as a foundation for prosperity and development” was the core message he drove home, painting the picture of growth against the backdrop of the “devastating” war in Ukraine. Some claims stood out, like an offer to turn Abkhazia into Monaco, a claim that the government has “scrupulously fulfilled” all 12 EU recommendations for the candidacy (most analysts strongly disagree), and an assertion that “before 2012 the history of Georgia was no longer taught at schools” (which is patently incorrect) – a shortfall that his government allegedly corrected. Uncharacteristically, PM Garibashvili also refrained from lashing out at the opposition.

Don’t miss a beat!

Over 300 power generators and some water pumps sent by Georgian civic activists to Ukraine have reportedly arrived at their destination.

Tbilisi State University, the country’s oldest higher education institution, picked Jaba Samushia as its new Rector for the four-year term. The ruling party’s favorite, Samusha ran unopposed, which gave rise to some criticism from students and in some academic circles. Samushia’s predecessor, Giorgi Shervashidze unexpectedly resigned in October and is already nominated as Georgia’s new Ambassador to Armenia.

Russia’s Deputy Economy Minister, Dmitry Volvach encouraged de facto authorities in Tskhinvali to apply the customs code of the Eurasian Economic Union, Russia’s hobbled alternative to the EU. He said common rules would speed up customs procedures while processing Russian goods, but said the customs tariffs were not necessarily part of this deal. Tskhinvali decided to join the customs union in October 2022. The insistence of Moscow possibly stems from the wish to spur imports into the sanction-affected economy.

Comings and goings

Mikhail Galuzin, Russia’s former Ambassador to Japan, took up the post of Deputy Foreign Minister, and will also oversee relations with Georgia and its occupied provinces. He took over from Andrey Rudenko, who will now have Asia in his portfolio.


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