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The Daily Beat: 23 August

Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs, Foreign Trade, and the Federal Cultural Institutions Hadja Lahbib arrived in Georgia, where she met with Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili and visited the occupation line. According to the official press release, ministers discussed bilateral relations and EU integration, stressing the top priority of the EU candidate status. “Reaffirmed our support for Georgia’s journey towards EU candidacy through continued reforms,” said a Belgian diplomat on social platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Hadja Lahbib also supported Georgia’s territorial integrity, highlighting the paramount importance of a negotiated solution.  

President Salome Zurabishvili addressed the Crimea Platform Summit via video link, reiterating solidarity and support for Ukraine. Salome Zurabishvili highlighted Ukraine’s fight for independence and sovereignty, saying, “Ukraine is fighting not only for its independence and sovereignty but for entire Europe’s freedom and security.”

Russia’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, now the deputy chairman of the security council, threatened recognition of Georgia’s occupied provinces.  In his long piece “Unlearned Lessons,” Dmitry Medvedev claimed that the West has not learned from its “most stupid and shameful mistakes” in Georgia and will pay dearly for repeating them in Ukraine by supporting “freaks” and useless politicians. In this context, Medvedev wrote, “The idea of joining Russia is still popular in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and it could be easily realized if the convincing reasons to do so were to emerge.”

Foreign Ministry reacted to Medvedev’s threatening remarks, saying his statements were a continuation of Russia’s occupation policy and yet another attempt to undermine Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In its statement, the Foreign Ministry called on the Russian Federation to respect the fundamental principles and norms of international law and to implement the August 12, 2008 cease-fire agreement.

Tea Godoladze, the director of the National Seismic Monitoring Center at Ilia State University, accused the government of launching a media campaign aimed at silencing her criticism of the policies that, she believes, contributed to the loss of lives during the recent mudslide in Shovi. A critical scientist took to Facebook to share her perspective and said the false accusation of domestic violence claim was made by her former partner, “who is currently accused of physical and psychological abuse against me on the grounds of gender discrimination.” The scientist said the government tries to instrumentalize this private case to discredit her in the eyes of the public.


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