“There is no one to stop this war in Ukraine and sanctions are also ineffective”, Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili made another statement on February 28, which has already sparked outrage in Georgian society.
“Let’s face it, who is fighting in Ukraine today? Ukrainian soldiers, Ukrainian army. We must remember that there are great challenges before [our] country and the whole world. In this situation, every emotion, every step, every word carries great risks”.
We sympathise with everyone, but we must protect our country first:
If Saakashvili was in power, where would we be now? The war would have started in Tbilisi first, and then in Kiyv.
“I have a lot of responsibility. We should all be guided by the interests of our country and our people, and only then think about the interests of other countries.
The Georgian radical opposition rejoices at the war in Ukraine, finds way to profit from any tragedy.
In recent days, the opposition has been trying to play on the noble feelings of our citizens, to use them. We, our government, are doing everything possible to provide maximum political, humanitarian and any other support to the Ukrainian brothers and sisters.
What are they asking me for? To impose sanctions on my people? And whom will they harm? Our population, our economy, more than a million of our compatriots who will not be able to carry out financial transactions”.
Russia occupies the second place among Georgia’s largest trading partners, Garibashvili said, and cited the following figures: from 2013 to 2021, Georgia exported $2 billion worth of food and $3 billion worth of other products to Russia.
In addition, in recent years, up to 5 million tourists from Russia have visited Georgia, which brought the country a profit of $3 billion.
According to Garibashvili, last year, the total volume of money transfers from Russia to Georgia reached $500 million, and the amount of investments over three years – $3 billion.
Who will be deprived of all this, all these incomes?”, Garibashvili said.
On February 24, the Prime Minister of Georgia announced that the country would not join the West’s sanctions against Russia.
At the same time, the National Bank of Georgia decided to deprive the Georgian division of the Russian VTB Bank of the right to service individuals, borrowers and depositaries due to international sanctions against Russian financial institutions.
Now the clients of VTB Bank Georgia will be served by Basisbank.
The largest telecommunications company in Georgia, Silknet, independently decided to turn off several state-owned Russian channels, including Channel One and RTR-Planet.
The European Union, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan and other countries have imposed tough sanctions against Russia after it invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Several leading Russian banks will be disconnected from the international SWIFT system. The pro-Kremlin TV channels – Russia Today and Sputnik – have been banned or their broadcasting has been severely restricted. Personal sanctions have also been imposed against Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and several other leading officials and businessmen.
The European Union completely closed its airspace to Russia and significantly restricted interaction with the Central Bank of Russia.