Did georgia used to be part of russia?

Russian rule over Georgia was finally recognized in several peace treaties with Persia and the Ottomans, and the remaining Georgian territories were gradually absorbed into the Russian Empire over the course of the 19th century. Until 1918, Georgia would be part of the Russian Empire. Please wait a moment and try again. However, there is no doubt that the number of Russians visiting Georgia will increase, especially now that many popular destinations are banned for Russian travelers as a result of the war and subsequent Western sanctions.

The United States and its European allies must prevent Georgia from continuing to fall to Russia's side. However, any Western attempt to punish the Georgian Dream party by cutting off the country's hopes of becoming a member of the EU will only benefit Ivanishvili, who has tried to block EU membership himself by violating the rule of law. There is also growing evidence that the Georgian Dream government is helping Russia evade Western sanctions. Indeed, Russia's announcement received harsh criticism, not only from the Georgian opposition and President Salome Zourabichvili, but also from the EU and the United States.

Tbilisi sources estimate that there are around 113,000 ethnic Georgians in Russia right now, of whom only 20,000 are Georgian citizens. Russia understands that strengthening ties with Georgia will only be possible if Georgian Dream remains in power, so it is willing to upset the current Georgian leaders from time to time. Georgian Dream, which was initially comprised of several opposition forces united under Ivanishvili, has since expelled all the pro-Western partners that were once part of its coalition. Now, even as it wages war against another neighboring country, Ukraine, Russia seems to be making a gesture conciliator with Georgia.

In the face of huge protests against the foreign agents law, Georgian Dream has withdrawn the legislation for now. After Persian attempts to re-establish control over Eastern Transcaucasia, Irakli's heir, Tsar George XII, who was trying to keep power, asked Paul I to annex his country to Russia on the condition that his descendants would keep the right to the Georgian throne. The United States and its allies should also apply secondary sanctions to Georgian companies and entities that help Russia evade sanctions. And European leaders are concerned about the increasingly anti-Western rhetoric and policies of the Georgian Dream.

Two decades ago, Georgia seemed to be a model of how the former Soviet republics could make the transition to democracy. They have also intensified their anti-Western propaganda efforts, won praise from Moscow for not joining Western sanctions and trade restrictions against Russia, and have emulated a Russian-style campaign of repression against Georgia's vibrant civil society. Reportedly, in recent months there has been no communication between Moscow and Tbilisi regarding visas and flights, and Russia's announcement of May 10 took the Georgian government by surprise.

Amanda Klines
Amanda Klines

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