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The Daily Beat: 1 November

The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nikoloz Samkharadze, reiterated Georgia’s position on non-participation in the “3+3” format until the Georgian territories remain under Russian occupation. “For us, the 3+3 format is unacceptable precisely because of Russia,” Samkharadze told the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). The last meeting in a “3+3” format, bringing together three regional powers – Iran, Turkey, Russia – and two South Caucasus countries- Azerbaijan and Armenia- was held in Tehran on 23 October.

By amending the “Law on Georgian Citizenship,” the Parliament lowered the residency threshold necessary for obtaining Georgian citizenship. According to the new amendments adopted in the third reading, the residency threshold required for foreign nationals wishing to acquire Georgian citizenship is reduced from 10 to 5 years. The Justice Ministry claims the amendment is aimed “at improving and simplifying the citizenship procedure.”

YouTube channel “CyberKmarapublished an unverified audio recording, seriously questioning the assertion of the Georgian government that the resumption of direct flights by Russia in April this year was Moscow’s unilateral decision. The recording, apparently taken in March 2022, reveals that two diplomats responsible for normalizing Russia-Georgia relations – Grigory Karasin and Zurab Abashidze – discuss the possibility of resuming direct Russia-Georgia flights. Zurab Abashidze confirmed the conversation, adding that there was nothing scandalous in it.  

Opposition representatives reacted to the leaked audio recording between Grigory Karasin and Zurab Abashidze, decrying covert Russia-Georgia links and blaming the government for collaboration with Russia. In the meantime, Justice Minister Rati Bregadze questioned the authenticity of the recording, adding that the resumption of Russia-Georgia flights made the travel of many Georgians much more convenient.

Radio Marneuli reported a pro-Palestine rally of about a hundred people in Marneuli, a town in southern Georgia predominantly populated by the Azeri ethnic minority. The participants were reportedly addressed by the Akhund of the Imam Ali Mosque, Haji Hajiyev, and the representative of the Caucasus Muslims’ Board, Ali Aliyev. While Haji Hajiyev was much more reserved in his address to the rally participants, Ali Aliyev from the Caucasus Muslims’ Board openly accused Israel, the US, and other NATO allies of constantly committing crimes in Gaza.

According to the Abkhaz online newspaper “Nuzhnaya Gazeta,” the de-facto legislature of occupied Abkhazia is readying to discuss Abkhazia’s possible participation in post-Soviet integration associations, with a particular focus on joining the Union State of Russia and Belarus.  In 2022, the de-facto leader of Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, expressed the readiness to join the union state of Russia and Belarus. De-facto foreign minister Inal Ardzinba recently repeated the same claim during an interview in Moscow.

The Caucasus Research Resource Centers (CRRC) analysis of Georgian social media use revealed that while Facebook remains the most popular social network in the country, almost half of young Georgians are on TikTok, with men and members of ethnic minority groups more likely to use the app. Analysis suggests that despite controversies relating to data-sharing and state security, as its founding company, “ByteDance” is China-based and has ties to China’s government, the popularity of TikTok is rapidly growing, especially among young people, OC Media reported.


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