Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili on Friday said there was “no threat” of illegal activity or violations of sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine from Georgian-based businesses that involved Russian capital.
In his interview with the local media outlet Interpressnews, Davitashvili said enterprises registered in the country by Russian citizens were "absolutely legal businesses" and added there was "no circumvention of any sanctions" through Georgia.
Absolutely legal businesses are registered in Georgia by Russian citizens. Our Government received gratitude from our main strategic partners - the European Union, the United States of America - for clearly being in line with international sanctions, of which Georgia is a part [...] There has been no circumvention of any sanctions through Georgia", he told the interview.
The Minister also noted the relocation of businesses to Georgia on the backdrop of the conflict was "definitely a positive trend", noting the process had made the domestic economy “more activated" and produced “additional value”.
"It gives us additional employment and, of course, it is a definite benefit for the economy", he pointed out while also highlighting international companies operating in Russia were also relocating their services and offices to Georgia.
"Slightly over one percent of businesses registered [in Georgia] involve Russian capital. Therefore, this is a very small amount in common businesses, and it should not pose any danger [...] It can also be noted here that the majority [of] businesses created with Russian capital are businesses founded by ethnic Georgians who have moved to Georgia from Russia", Davitashvili also said.
The Minister also added that about 10,000 entities - out of 900,000 registered companies - featured “some participation of Russian citizens” during a period extending back beyond the start of the conflict.
He also noted over 200,000 individuals had entered Georgia since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, of which 60,000 had remained in the country while others had crossed into Turkey and Armenia.
"Georgia, in this case, was used as a transit [country]”, Davitashvili said, adding the peak of increased crossings into Georgia from the Russian territory - which came at the period of the military mobilisation announced in the country - had thereafter “stabilised”.