Georgia “among leaders” in enforcement of sanctions on Russia - Finance Minister

  • Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili on Monday said there were “no grounds” to accuse Georgia of aiding Russia in evading sanctions. Photo: Finance Ministry press office, 23 Jan 2023 - 17:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is “one of the leading countries” in enforcement of international sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the country’s Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili said on Monday. 

Coming after the weekly Government meeting, Khutsishvili’s comment was also responding to a question asked by a CNN reporter to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last week on alleged export of sanctioned goods to Russia through Georgia.

The Minister stressed there were “no grounds to raise such allegations”, and noted the Georgian Government had been in “constant communication” with the European Union, United States and “all of its foreign partners” to facilitate the enforcement of the sanctions. 

Both in the financial sector and in trade, the Government of Georgia and the country’s National Bank are exercising very strict control. I can say unequivocally that the authorities are in very close coordination with our partners - both the US and EU - and information is being exchanged on a daily basis”, the Minister said. 

Khutsishvili also noted the Government had received letters of gratitude over the past year for its efforts in ensuring the enforcement of the sanctions in accordance with standards. 

All instruments a country needs to have [for the enforcement of the sanctions] in customs, trade, finance and banking are in place, in accordance with international standards”, he said, adding his Government had also been in “close cooperation” with agencies in the EU, US, United Kingdom and other states exercising control on the enforcement of the sanctions.

The Minister also pointed out Georgia had enjoyed higher tourist numbers and export figures with countries other than Russia since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine in February of last year, noting “it is better to rely on official statistics and draw conclusions from them”.