Georgian lari continues to depreciate: 1 USD costs 2.9096 GEL

The exchange rate is higher at exchange booths around the country and at local banks. Photo:, 09 Jul 2019 - 18:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian national currency, the lari, has depreciated in value against the US dollar and the euro in recent days, with 1 USD costing 2.9096 GEL, while 1 EUR costs 3.2599 GEL.

This is the official exchange rate set by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), however, the exchange rate is higher at exchange booths around the country and at local banks.

Georgian experts said that the lari is depreciating against the background of the threat of economic sanctions from Russia.

The Russian State Duma adopted a statement at a plenary session today, urging the government of Russia to impose tough economic sanctions on Georgia and halt the import of wine and mineral waters from Georgia to the Russian Federation and put in place a ban on remittances from Russia.

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he did not support the parliamentary call to impose tough economic sanctions on Georgia.

I wouldn’t do that out of respect for the Georgian people”, Ria Novosti cited Putin as saying.

Russia continues to be the largest sender of remittances to Georgia, given the large number of Georgians living in the country.

The latest data on money transfers show that in May 2019 Georgia received $34.80 million in remittances from Russia while in total money transfers from abroad totalled $145.8 million.

Chief economist from TBC Bank Otar Nadaraia said that the devaluation of lari started before the sanctions, however as a result of “new shocks” the dollar rate may increase to 3.00-3.05.

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Analyst of the Transparency International Georgia Beso Namchvaidze also said that the lari devaluation is caused by possible sanctions from Russia.

“This caused panic – dollars will not flow from Russia, the lari will depreciate and it is better to buy it today. But whoever buys now at 2.95 should not be sure that in the near future won’t buy cheaper”, said Namchvaidze.