Today is 24 March, and it’s been snowing heavily in Tsavkisi for the past few days. My yard and street are covered by about a full meter of snow. Cars are stuck on the snow-covered streets and our small community is physically cut off from the rest of the world. Locals can’t remember such a snowstorm, especially in March.
The war in Ukraine had just begun when I wrote (on the ISET Policy Institute's website and in the Georgian Times) that the present events in Ukraine offer the world a chance to become better. I could not have predicted at the time that hostilities would unfold in such a disastrous fashion or scale, nor could I have anticipated that, following four weeks of the war, we would witness an even larger and, I would say unimaginable human and global catastrophe.
During such challenging times, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates daily and threatens the lives of thousands, as well as the wellbeing of everyone around the world, having experienced the horror of war, we Georgians especially feel the pain of the Ukrainians.
As I am writing these lines, Russian tanks are moving deeper into the territory of my country, Ukraine, and emotions are threatening to overwhelm me. But emotions cannot shake what we, as economics scholars, value the most: devotion to truth and careful, impartial use of facts and logic to arrive at conclusions.
In previous articles we have discussed the visible deterioration of Georgia’s energy security, where energy demand keeps increasing and the share of domestic energy sources in overall primary supply (the gross amount consumed by the country over one year) is declining. Reversing this trend requires the country to accelerate the pace that it develops domestic – and mostly renewable – energy generation capacity; ideally in combination with greater efforts to improve energy efficiency.