Deputy Minister of Finance of Georgia on sanctions: When there is a border with Russia, there is also a risk factor
Deputy Minister of Finance on sanctions
Georgian Deputy Treasury Minister Georgi Kakauridze responded to a statement by U.S. State Department sanctions coordinator Jim O’Brien by saying that when a country has a border with Russia, there is also a risk factor [of circumventing sanctions].
“All products from the sanctions list are under control, not a single dual-use product has gone to Russia,” Kakauridze added.
The American publication Politico writes that the US has identified countries that contribute to Russia’s evasion of sanctions, and one of these countries is Georgia. The publication is based on a speech by U.S. State Department sanctions coordinator Jim O’Brien at the annual meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).
In addition to Georgia, the list includes Turkey, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates and Armenia.
The problem, O’Brien said, is that European companies sell materials to other countries, and then those countries resell them to Russia.
According to Kakauridze, there has not been a single instance of Georgia being used to circumvent sanctions, and this will not happen in the future either, and Tbilisi is closely cooperating with the relevant structures of the US and the EU. Kakauridze says Jim O’Brien’s visit to Georgia will be part of this collaboration.
“None of the goods identified as dual-use goods have been shipped to Russian territory. According to Georgian legislation, a permit is required for such products, and a similar permit was not issued in the direction of Russia.
We are making every effort so that neither Georgia, companies, or transit companies circumvent sanctions, so that all products that under sanctions are checked in a special way,” Kakauridze assures.
According to Kakauridze, last year most of the electrical goods were not classified as sanctioned, so their transit was not interrupted.
“However, this year, when electrical goods were also added to the list of sanctioned goods, the transit and export of some of them was taken under control.”
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After the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, many countries — the US, EU countries, the UK, Japan, Australia, and others — have introduced several packages of sanctions against Russia, both collective and unilateral.
These sanctions concern the financial, energy and transport sectors, exports and imports, and visa policy. Sanctions have also been imposed against officials, oligarchs and people close to Putin. The Western world hopes that the Russian government will not withstand this pressure and stop the war against Ukraine.
Georgia has not imposed its own sanctions against Russia. Moreover, from February 24 to the present, members of the Georgian government have been insistently repeating that Georgia does not join the sanctions imposed by the West. Ukraine is dissatisfied with this position of Georgia and openly expresses its dissatisfaction.
At the same time, the President of Georgia and individual departments have repeatedly noted that Georgia adheres to the sanctions imposed against Russia and will not help anyone to avoid them.