Capture of State by Oligarchs in Post-Soviet countries
Ambassador Lectures presents to you our next speaker - Mikheil Saakashvili
Mikheil Saakashvili was elected President of Georgia on 4 January 2004 with more than 96% of the votes during the Rose Revolution, a peaceful pro-West change of power in Georgia. A young reformer, Saakashvili promised to end endemic corruption and focus on keeping the territorial integrity of the country in the face of separatist movements in Georgia’s ethnic republics.
This course of action led him to numerous conflicts with the Russian Federation which supported separatists in those regions, which resulted in the Russo-Georgian war of 2008. Mikheil Saakashvili held the office of Georgia’s presidency for two terms until 2013. In a 2014 interview, Mr. Saakashvili weighed in on Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Russia’s influence in the region. He said: “Georgia is a democracy and Ukraine has a strong chance of being a full-fledged European democracy … [Putin] just doesn’t want to be surrounded by democracies.”
In his lecture, Mr Saakashvili will shed light on the democratic systems of a few ex-Soviet bloc nations, such as Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, that according to him are subject, to this day, to foreign political 'intervention' by Russia. According to Mr Saakashvili, a few individuals hold the grip on power in these countries and in his experience, they cannot rid themselves of Russian influence by conventional force. In Mr Saakashvili's view, the recent election results in Moldova and similar problems facing the upcoming elections in Ukraine, can only be addressed by a defeat of ‘Putinism’.
Join us on March 28 at 19.30 to listen to former President Mikheil Saakashvili’s first-hand account of the still ongoing struggle of former Soviet states to grow into strong democratic countries.
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