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Policy Dialogue
Managed insecurity in the EU neighbourhood: Cost of the unresolved conflict in Georgia

Thursday, 05 March 2020


Dennis Sammut
Director, LINKS
Lasha Darsalia
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Matt Bryza
Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council & Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia
Sven Mikser
Member of the European Parliament & Rapporteur for Georgia


Amanda Paul
Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

The EU’s Eastern neighbourhood is awash with protracted conflicts that are used as tools for geopolitical contestation. Georgia is the case in point with 20% of its territory occupied. The conflict undermines Georgia’s security, while also acting as a handbrake on the country’s development. Russia is at the centre of Georgia’s security challenges. In the aftermath of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war, Moscow consolidated its military presence in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and recognised them as nominally independent states. Both regions have signed so-called integration treaties with Russia, incorporating them into the Russia's political, military, economic and social systems.

Today, the EU is the main security actor with its EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and as a co-chair of the multi-party Geneva International Discussions. However, the peace talks are deadlocked as long as Russia prevents the EUMM from entering the occupied territories and blocks the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The Six Point Ceasefire Agreement brokered by then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the aftermath of the 2008 war remains only partially implemented by Moscow.

Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia will outline the key security challenges facing Georgia and the Black Sea region more broadly, including the costs and consequences of the unresolved conflict, and assess the role of the EU. MEP Sven Mikser, Matt Bryza and Dennis Sammut will then offer their assessment and recommendations for the EU and US. Amanda Paul, EPC Senior Analyst, will moderate the discussion.

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