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European Council to assess Georgian political mediation


European Council to assess Georgian political mediation


European Council President Charles Michel will today meet the leaders of Georgia’s ruling and opposition parties in Brussels to assess progress in mediating the nation’s political crisis.

Tensions between the governing, centrist Georgia Dream party and opposition, centre-right United National Movement (UNM) party erupted during 2019 protests in which Georgia Dream was accused of submitting to Russian influence. Most recently, the crisis again devolved in February after police stormed UNM headquarters and arrested opposition leader Nika Melia, prompting Michel’s calls for mediation which were welcomed by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili.

Expect Michel to use today to promote increased political ties between Georgia and the EU. Michel has openly expressed his desire to deepen the EU’s connections with the Caucasus and Zourabichvili has also stated a similar desire, citing 80% of the Georgian public as supporting the union. Both Georgia Dream and the UNM are ostensibly pro-EU parties, thus today’s mediation is likely to soothe the crisis, though the UNM’s accusations of judicial partiality may prove a temporary negotiation impasse. While some mistrust remains between the two parties, both agree ending the crisis and establishing bilateral dialogue will likely prevent further crackdowns on the UNM.

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