Acting National Bank President, German Ambassador discuss controversial sanctions compliance amendments

The German Ambassador Peter Fischer and Natia Turnava, the Acting President of the National Bank of Georgia. Photo: NBG, 22 Sep 2023 - 18:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Natia Turnava, the Acting President of the National Bank of Georgia, on Friday met the German Ambassador Peter Fischer to explain the controversial recent amendments in the regulation on the body’s compliance with the international financial sanctions against Russia that exempted citizens of the country from domestic sanctions without court rulings. 

Turnava told Fischer the Bank had developed and implemented the amendment in order to “fully realise the rights and freedoms” of Georgian citizens as guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia. She emphasised the National Bank was in “constant communication” with commercial banks and continued to enforce the international sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

We are very grateful for the support and cooperation we receive from the German Government and the German financial sector”, Turnava also said.

Fischer said the meeting discussed institutional and economic reforms. 

Now, when Georgia is taking steps towards [the European Union membership] candidate status and EU membership, we want to further deepen and expand our cooperation in the future. We also talked about the recent events, and I appreciate the detailed explanation [which we were given]”, he said.

The NBG also said it was in “intensive communication” with the domestic financial sector, international financial institutions and "all interested parties" on the matter.

The development followed the Bank's reversal on Tuesday of its decree to sanction Otar Partskhaladze, the former Prosecutor General of the country, after he was last week sanctioned by the United States Department of State for alleged ties with Russia.

In the U-turn, the NBG said it was amending its regulations to exempt the country’s nationals from domestic sanctions without court authorisation, a decision followed by resignation of several members of the Bank’s board and three of its Vice Presidents.