Ukraine instability negatively reflects on Georgia-Ukraine trade

Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative in relations with Russia, 22 May 2014 - 17:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ongoing instability in Ukraine could cause problems to Georgia-Ukraine trade relations, says the Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative in relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze.

Abashidze’s comments were in response to latest statistics released by the National Statistics Office, which showed Russia had become the third largest trading partner for Georgia. Previously, Ukraine held this position but had fallen down the list.

"Unfortunately the dramatic events taking place in Ukraine reflect on our trading relations in a negative way,” Abashidze said.

He expressed hope this shaky situation would soon be regulated.

Turkey remained Georgia’s largest trading partner, with turnover reaching $368.4 million USD (almost 650 million GEL) in the first quarter of 2014, followed by Azerbaijan with 319.7 million USD (563.2 million GEL).

Russia was Georgia’s fifth largest trading partner in the first quarter of 2013 but had jumped up the rank and was now third on the list. In the first three months of this year trade reached 190.3 million USD (335.2 million GEL), which was an increase of 56.8 percent on the same time in 2013.

That increase was believed to be mainly caused by increasing exports of Georgian wine and mineral water to Russia, which was banned by Russia until about 12 months ago.