Le Figaro: Georgia has become a new arena for confrontation between Russia and the West

Western countries are concerned about the law on foreign agents adopted in Georgia, which is opposed by pro-European youth, Le Figaro says. Russia, with the help of its political puppets, is sabotaging the country’s accession to the EU and wants to return Georgia to its allies.

Le Figaro: Georgia has become a new arena for confrontation between Russia and the West

The situation with the Ukrainian Maidan is repeating in Georgia: the country’s residents are in favour of democracy and the European Union against Russia, but despite the protests and government repression, European countries are cautious and hesitate to intervene, Le Figaro writes. Watching the increasingly violent clashes between pro-European youth and pro-Russian authorities, the EU expresses its “concern” about the adopted law on foreign agents, but does not threaten to follow the US example and impose sanctions.

Diplomats note that the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, the upcoming European Parliament elections, Georgia’s role in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and fears that Russia will reintroduce its troops are hindering more action. After 16 years, Moscow still controls about 20 per cent of Georgian territory and its tanks are 45 kilometres from Tbilisi. The Kremlin wants to bring Georgia back into the fold of its allies by pushing through its political puppets.

Now the fate of the country is at stake, which will either face Maidan and Europe or forced Russification after the suppression of protests. Europe has all the cards in its hand to avoid such a scenario – for example, by making visas more difficult to obtain. The European Commission’s main leverage is to threaten to sever or freeze Georgia’s accession to the EU. However, such a move may not lead to the desired results: sabotage is favourable to the ruling Georgian Dream party and its founder, shadow leader Bidzina Ivanishvili. The appearance of rapprochement with the EU has helped him to please the population, but he has no intention to continue because he will have to implement reforms that run counter to his financial and political interests.