As it became clear over the past decade that the richest oligarch in Georgia has captured the state, research examined the impunity of corrupt officials, Georgia’s growing economic dependence on Russia, and the oligarch’s secret businesses in Russia,” reads the Dekleptification Guide released by USAID, which is a new handbook for uprooting entrenched corruption and seizing windows of opportunity to dismantle kleptocracy.
The Guide brings together lessons learned based on groundbreaking reform movements around the world.
According to the Guide, from 2004 to 2012, Georgia implemented a far-reaching public sector reform that led to a sharp reduction in bribery.
“In 2004, within just a few months of Georgia’s Rose Revolution, the new government was already reorganizing the executive branch, enacting legislation, arresting corrupt former officials, and confiscating misappropriated assets—a sweeping campaign that led to an 80% decline in bribery by 2005,” reads the document.
According to the organization, Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and Georgia’s Rose Revolution ended when Russia-backed oligarchs funded pro-Russian candidates who became presidents and rekleptified the two countries.
“If and when windows close, political analysis can understand how and why antireform elements are regaining power. Assessments should inform sharper US government interventions that could help to defend reform gains and hold the regime accountable. Such tools could include freezes in assistance to the increasingly corrupt government, more forceful public diplomacy, and sanctions on high-level corrupt officials. Another recent example of a USAID partner analyzing a closing window is the work of Transparency International Georgia. As it became clear over the past decade that the richest oligarch in Georgia has captured the state, their research examined the impunity of corrupt officials, Georgia’s growing economic dependence on Russia, and the oligarch’s secret businesses in Russia”, reads the USAID document.