Georgia on my mind? Russian sanctions and the end of the 'Rose Revolution'

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Abstract

In recent years Russia has launched a concerted effort to undermine pro-Western regimes in the former Soviet area by using economic sanctions. Most studies of this economic offensive have focused on Russia's obvious use of natural gas as a political weapon. This paper adds to that literature by showing how the Kremlin in fact uses many kinds of sanctions simultaneously. The case of Georgia illustrates this clearly. To undermine President Saakashvili Moscow used not only energy sanctions, but also trade and financial sanctions, as well as restrictions on Georgian migrant workers. As this case shows, democratic regimes may be particularly vulnerable to such economic sanctions, since even a relatively small economic decline can cause an incumbent to lose an election. The Russian effort in Georgia seems to have succeeded, as Saakashvili's party was driven from office in the 2012 and 2013 elections by Georgian Dream, a new coalition founded by Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire who made his fortune in Russia. However, Ivanishvili has now found that he, too, faces Russian economic pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Eurasian Studies
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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