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The Daily Beat: 31 August

Despite the government’s refusal to authorize the President’s foreign trips, Salome Zurabishvili reportedly visited Berlin, where she met with German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Apart from the only photo published on the President’s Facebook page, where Salome Zurabishvili stands with a German colleague, no meeting details are available. Yesterday, the government said the president was denied visits to Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, the Arab Emirates, Israel, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic.

The ruling Georgian Dream party chair, Irakli Kobakhidze, once again slammed the President’s unauthorized foreign visits, describing them as unconstitutional and reminding the president of the impeachment procedure. However, Kobakhidze admitted that the impeachment procedure needs 100 votes, and the GD majority has only 84. Meanwhile, President Zurabishvili continues her hotly contested western trip, and on 1st September, she is scheduled to meet with EUOC President Charles Michel.  

Russian Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy in Georgia announced a campaign to recruit candidates for admission to Russian higher education institutions in the academic year 2024-2025 at the expense of the Russian state budget. According to the Russian Interests Section, the program is open to Georgian citizens, stateless persons, and Russian citizens residing in Georgia with appropriate permits.

National Committee of the Blue Shield Georgia (GNCBS), UNESCO Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace Team at Newcastle University published a joint comprehensive report on the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Occupied Tskhinvali Region, Georgia, revealing extensive damage to all aspects of cultural heritage in the affected area. The comprehensive report confirmed the earlier findings by several international organizations, including Human Rights Watch, indicating that the occupying and South Ossetian forces sought to ethnically cleanse the villages along the occupation line.

Policy Brief “Current Challenges of Georgia-Ukraine Relations: Strategic Allies in a Spiral of Antagonism,” authored by Volodymyr Posviatenko, a scholar at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow and the University of Padova, suggests that Georgia-Ukraine relations are at an all-time low. According to the findings of the Policy Brief, the Ukrainian government is unlikely to cooperate with the GD government, given the lack of trust and curtailed diplomatic ties.


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