Relations between the Republic of Georgia and the Russian Federation remain a sensitive and complex subject at the regional and international levels, amid Moscow’s military aggression against Ukraine. A turning point in the relations between the two countries was the 2008 War between Georgia and Russia. The conflict took place mainly in the region of South Ossetia, where Georgian troops intervened to restore control over the breakaway territory. In response, Russia intervened militarily and bombed Georgian infrastructure. This confrontation led to a dramatic deterioration of relations between the two countries and the international recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia, although most countries do not recognize them as independent states.
The Republic of Georgia has long expressed its desire to get closer to the European Union and NATO. The country signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2014, which also included the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). This meant a significant approach to European standards and values. But for Russia, this move was perceived as a threat to its influence in the region and generated hostile reactions.
Russia has been accused several times of trying to influence Georgia’s domestic politics, either through support for pro-Russian political parties or movements, or through propaganda. This fueled tensions and undermined the process of normalizing relations between the two countries.
The Kremlin imposed economic restrictions on Georgia between 2006 and 2013, affecting Georgian exports to the Russian market. This had a significant impact on Georgia’s economy and damaged trade relations.
The situation in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains one of major conflict. Russia has recognized their independence and maintains significant military presence in these regions and continues to support them politically and economically. This prevents the peaceful resolution of conflicts and contributes to regional tensions.