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Georgia Grapples with Wildfires and the Russian Question

Tbilisi asking enemy Russia for help in putting out a devastating, seven-day-long wildfire has kindled a national debate in Georgia about putting pragmatism before patriotism in the face of disaster.

The blaze that kept the entire country on tenterhooks for a week broke out on August 20 in central Georgia’s Borjomi area, a mountainous, pine-tree-covered recreational area known for its natural springs and seen as the lungs of the nation.

The Georgian foreign ministry confirmed today that Tbilisi’s point man for talks with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, had asked his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, for emergency assistance with tackling the fire that threatened this territory. The ministry defended Abashidze’s move, asserting that the Georgian government had to explore all aid options in the face of the worst wildfire in recent memory.

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Georgia Grapples with Wildfires and the Russian Question

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