Georgian Republic |
‘Georgia is blessed and cursed by its geography, says Salome Zourabichvili, its new president . Blessed because the country is a lush intersection on the silk roads between Europe and Asia. Cursed because it is hemmed in by mighty empires with a penchant for invading: Persians, Turks and Arabs from the south, Mongols and Russians from the north. Moscow ruled Georgia for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, and invaded briefly in 2008. It still has control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another breakaway, and last year warned of a “terrible conflict” should Georgia try to join NATO. Georgians, however, want to join not just NATO but the EU too,’ (‘Charlemagne, Shrinking the Black Sea’, The Economist Feb 16th 2019, p23).