Ruling party MP slams CNN for “fake information” on alleged exports of sanctioned goods to Russian via Georgia

MP Giorgi Amilakhvari accused CNN of spreading fake information over Georgia. Photo: Parliament of Georgia press office, 24 Jan 2023 - 14:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Giorgi Amilakhvari, an MP from the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Tuesday criticised CNN and its host Christiane Amanpour for having spread “fake information” last week on alleged exports of sanctioned goods to Russia through Georgia.

Responding to Amanpour’s live interview with the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, in which the host suggested Russia had used Georgia to evade international sanctions imposed on the country for its invasion of Ukraine, the lawmaker stressed “no evidence” had been presented for the “unfounded allegations”. 

No matter whether it is CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera or a domestic influential or a less influential media outlet, if such fake information - a lie - is spread, the Government is required to respond”, Amilakhvari told Palitranews. 

He stressed several MEPs, as well as some Ukrainian officials and domestic Georgian opposition politicians, had also made similar accusations following the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year, but with “no evidence” to back their claims. 

Citing the country’s Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili as saying 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, the MP said Georgia had been “one of the first” to join the sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine. 

In his comments on Monday, the Minister also said Georgian authorities had been in “constant communication” with the European Union, United States and “all of its foreign partners” to facilitate the enforcement of the sanctions. 

He added “all instruments a country needs to have [for the enforcement of the sanctions] in customs, trade, finance and banking are in place [in Georgia], in accordance with international standards”.