Georgian exports to Russia increase dramatically in 6 years, Georgian envoy to Russia says

Zurab Abashidze (right) and Gregory Karasin met on June 13 in Prague., 14 Jun 2019 - 12:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia has exported 1.5 billion USD worth of products to Russia since 2012, Georgian Special Envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze stated after his meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin in Prague on June 13.  

It is a big figure, as in 2012 [when the Georgian Dream leadership offered to restore trade-economic relations with Russia], exports to Russia stood at zero,” Abashidze said.

Karasin stated that 1.5 million Russian citizens visited Georgia last year.

I have information that the number of Russian visitors in Georgia in the first five months of 2019 will be more than last year’s annual figure,” Karasin said.

He also stated that Russia is among the top countries from where Georgia receives a greater portion of its remittances.

Karasin says that his country is 'interested in Georgia's development." Photo: azernews.

129 million USD has been sent to Georgia from Russia the first four months of 2019”, Karasin said.

Despite the fact that meeting format is meant to only concern trade and economic issues, both envoys raised political issues.

Abashidze spoke about the severe human rights and humanitarian situation in the two Russian-occupied regions of Georgia Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

Abashidze said that Karasin raised the NATO-Georgia cooperation issue [as Russia says that the close partnership of NATO and Georgia is a ‘threat to regional security].

It is the sovereign right of Georgia to decide with whom to cooperate,” Abashidze said.

Abashidze stated that the “threats coming from the US-built Lugar Lab” in Tbilisi has also been mentioned and he invited Russian experts and scientists to Georgia to see for themselves that there is nothing dangerous in the laboratory.

Karasin welcomed the invitation, Abashidze said.

In previous months Georgian health officials also invited Russian medics and scientists to the lab. However, they declined to come.

  • The Georgian Dream government appointed Abashidze as the country’s envoy to Russia in 2012 to deal with only trade and economic issues.
  • The two countries have no diplomatic relations since the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.