Russian Economic Footprint and the Impact on Democratic Institutions in Georgia
Dzebisashvili, Shalva
Suzana Kalashiani
Irakli Gabriadze
Rezo Beradze
Mirian Ejibia


This article reexamines the infamous concept of the “Energy Empire,” formulated by Anatoli Tchubais, and makes an attempt to reveal the instruments and ways of Russian economic influence in Georgia that lead to the formation of the so-called Russian economic footprint in the country, which in turn is effectively instrumentalized by Kremlin as a powerful tool for malign political influence and pressure. The problem is very much related to the ability of young and fragile democracies to develop resilient political systems and institutions, to withhold the pressure, and uphold the irreversible process of democratic transformation. The analysis of the major sectors of the national economy in Georgia reveals the critical dependence of major sectors on Russian operated companies as well as the growing aggregated weight of Russia’s influence in the entire national economy. The preliminary results drawn from the sectoral analysis are augmented by a regression model applied to verify the interrelation between the dynamics of democratic institutional development and a selected economic variable, i.e., exports to Russia.

Previous Issue

This issue of Connections. The Quarterly Journal looks into a number of issues: professional military education and its role in deepening defense capabil­ities with a special focus on the South Caucasus, the defense cooperation of the South Caucasus nations with both Russia and NATO which may result in a new form of a ‘Great Game’ rivalry... Read More