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The Daily Beat: 12 May

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) rejected the request to use an interim measure to transfer imprisoned ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili to Warsaw for medical treatment, justice minister Rati Bregadze said at a news briefing. According to the minister, the request for Saakashvili’s transfer to another medical facility in the country was also not enforced by the Court. So far, ECtHR did not make a statement, and their reasoning is not publicly available. Ex-President Saakashvili’s family and the senior members of the major opposition party, the United National Movement, pledged to continue fighting relentlessly for Saakashvili’s transfer to a third-country medical facility.

Juansher Burchuladze has joined the campaign of the ruling party and pointed at liberalism as a potential threat to the country’s sovereignty and security. The defense minister told to pro-government TV Imedi that “unless liberalism is perceived through a religious and moral prism,” it “can threaten” the preservation of Georgia’s security and sovereignty, adding that conservative ideology has “no alternative” and is “the main idea” of the government.

Following the EU and the US, the UK Ambassador Mark Clayton reacted to Russia’s decision to lift the visa regime and direct flight ban with Georgia, describing it as a provocative offer and an apparent attempt to increase Georgia’s dependency on Russia. Ambassador Clayton also pointed to the increased risk of Georgia’s involvement in sanctions evasion, pledging to continue supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and its Euro-Atlantic integration.

Pro-Western opposition parties issued a joint statement, accusing the ruling Georgian Dream of “once again” endangering Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic future, pointing out that the country’s international isolation may bring it under Russia’s dominance. According to the statement, the opposition believes that isolated Georgia is at increased risk of renewed attack and aggression from the Russian side. Girchi-More Freedom, Droa, Strategy Agmashenebeli, Lelo, UNM, and European Georgia pledged to “do everything to change this regime democratically.” Apart from UNM, the parties poll in low single digits.


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