(GIP) For a number of years now, Ukraine and Georgia have often been cited together as a certain tandem of countries that share their aspirations, challenges and perspectives. It is hardly surprising considering that Kyiv and Tbilisi have formally shared their domestic and foreign priorities for a while now. Domestically it is a fight to introduce and implement reforms, eradicate corruption (or keep it out in case of Georgia), and then for the international agenda – move closer to the EU, work to get into NATO eventually, fight off Russian pressure/aggression. The ideology, logic of the process has been very similar, indeed. The success has varied with both countries over the years having their breakthroughs, openings and, yet, regresses as well.
Georgia has often been seen as a pioneer in the field of reforms, and for a good reason. With the second term of Kuchma and post-orange “blues” in Ukraine in the background (and no noticeable movement forward there) Georgia has stunned everyone in the very positive way by rushing ahead with ambitious reforms plan since its “rose revolution”. The sizable handicap, a gap of sorts, has emerged between the countries. Many Ukrainians viewed Georgia as an amazing and inspiring success story and envied it very much so. With time, though, it became clear that Georgian “miracle” had its own cracks. M. Saakashvili’s government which was seen as a visionary and bold locomotive for reforms begun to show signs of wearing off, deterioration. Eventually reforms were not stalled entirely but have slowed down dramatically. That was, perhaps, to be expected as the bar of expectations has been set way too high. The system fought back and courageous trail blazers appeared to be not without a sin. This was a valuable lesson for everyone in Ukraine and throughout the region, for that matter. […]
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