On March 24th 2017, Benjamin Fricke, a Scientific Associate at Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung South Caucasus and an alumnus of the IWP Class of 2013, discussed domestic politics in Georgia and Georgia’s international relationships with both the Russian Federation and the European Union. Mr. Fricke opened with a brief excursus through Georgia’s history after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Crucially, Mr. Fricke emphasized that in recent years Georgia has developed unstable relations with Western nations despite a geopolitical orientation toward the Atlantic world. Georgia stood at the center of political chaos and ethnic conflicts, but massive transitions following the Rose Revolution of 2003 enabled Georgia to overcome. Mr. Fricke declared that the Georgian experience exemplifies statecraft. Despite past successes, Georgia has lost its ways to cordially assimilate with Russia in regards of economics, politics and religion. Georgia still contends with substantial Russian influence in regards to economics, politics, and religion.
Fricke predicts future reforms in Georgia. He spoke to the fact that that Russian influence will continue to exist not only in politics and the church, but may also extend to economics and energy. This further increases Georgia’s need to strengthen its own currency in the face of unstable risks. In regards to the turbulence in the Caucasus, Georgian statesmen and women should cogently discuss these issues and as to defend their national interests.