Ivanishvili at No. 8 on world list of "destroyers" - POLITICO's annual ranking
POLITICO on Ivanishvili
The American publication POLITICO published its annual rating of the most influential people in Europe, which includes the so-called “destroyers”. Bidzina Ivanishvili, widely believed to be the informal ruler of Georgia, ranks eighth. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban is in third place.
In addition to the names of the most influential people, the rating includes three categories: doers, destroyers and dreamers. According to POLITICO, the people in this category represent different types of power.
What does POLITICO say about Bidzina Ivanishvili?
POLITICO calls Ivanishvili an oligarch and says that his goal is to distance Georgia from rapprochement with the European Union and bring the country closer to the Kremlin. According to the publication, he left politics to devote himself to a simple life in an arboretum on the shores of the Black Sea.
“However, it is widely known that Georgia’s richest man (whose wealth accounts for about a third of the country’s GDP) is pulling the strings of the ruling Georgian Dream party he founded. His goal: to push Tbilisi out of the EU waiting room and into the clutches of the Kremlin.”
POLITICO writes that Ivanishvili, born into poverty in a Georgian village, moved to Moscow to earn a doctorate in economics and made an astronomical fortune in the 1990s in banking, metallurgy, real estate, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.
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The publication explains that Ivanishvili served as the country’s prime minister for a time before leaving the post in 2013, while continuing to lead and hold elections.
“Last year, Georgia refused to impose sanctions against Russia, lifted a ban on direct flights bringing Russian citizens to this South Caucasus country, and even attempted to impeach its president for her trips to EU capitals.”
In addition, according to POLITICO, Ivanishvili is largely responsible for Georgia’s pro-Moscow turn since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine. The publication says that although a fifth of Georgia’s territory is occupied by Kremlin forces and its proxies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, “the country has become a key center for parallel exports to Russia that violate sanctions.”
The publication notes, however, that the vast majority of Georgians support EU membership and want their country to turn to the West.
“The question is, will Ivanishvili allow it?” writes POLITICO.
The full list of all categories, including the runners-up, will be announced today at the POLITICO 28: Class of 2024 online event.
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Irakli Kobakhidze: “Pay money and get content in any article”
Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party Irakli Kobakhidze commented on the list of influential people published by POLITICO and said, “You pay money and get content in any article.”
“I will answer in one word: shameful. We see that such customized articles are written, in the case of America, through the FARA [American foreign agent registration website]. We know that such articles are written for money.
Such schemes work easily, including in European media – you pay money and include any content in any article. Such things are easy to do with money. You see, it’s pathetic to comment on all this.
If someone pays money in some newspaper and Bidzina Ivanishvili is called an oligarch, it has no value. Facts have value.”