Transparency International: Georgian oligarch Ivanishvili owns at least one business in Russia
Bidzina Ivanishvili’s business in Russia
The non-governmental organization Transparency International Georgia published a new study, according to which Bidzina Ivanishvili, the former chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, who is also considered the informal ruler of Georgia, owns at least one company in Russia through an offshore company, and in 2012-2019 he owned at least than 10 companies in Russia.
Bidzina Ivanishvili’s claims of having no business interests in Russia since 2012 are false and untrue, says Eka Gigauri, chairman of Transparency International Georgia.
According to Gigauri, the position of the Georgian government regarding support for Ukraine may be due to the business interests of Bidzina Ivanishvili and his family in Russia.
“As for the business interests of his family members, according to our data, Ucha Mamatsashvili (Ivanishvili’s cousin) has a common interest and company with Georgy Poltavchenko, who studied with Russian President Putin at the KGB academy and was previously the governor of St. Petersburg. On April 7 he was sanctioned by the United States, and his company was also sanctioned by a number of Western countries”, Gigauri said.
According to the head of TI, Bidzina Ivanishvili’s brother Alexander Ivanishvili and Ucha Mamatsashvili own a joint business with Anna Kuvichko (who was a member of the Russian State Duma until 2021), and with her husband, Mr Kherianov. Information about this has also been circulated in the Georgian media in recent months.
“In general, as a result of our research, the issue of Georgia’s ambiguous position regarding support for Ukraine may be due to the fact that Bidzina Ivanishvili and his family have business interests in Russia, and that these interests can accurately determine the position of the current government of Georgia ”, noted in the press service of TI.
Talk of Georgia’s unofficial ruler’s ties to Russia intensified after an alleged audio recording of a conversation between Bidzina Ivanishvili and sanctioned Russian oligarch Vladimir Yevtushenkov was posted on YouTube on April 26.
The recordings were made on March 10 and 12 of this year, that is when Russia had already invaded Ukraine. David Arakhamia, chairman of Ukraine’s ruling Servant of the People party, called on the European Union and the United States to consider imposing personal sanctions against Ivanishvili.
According to Arakhamia, the essence of the current Georgian government is to follow the instructions of the Kremlin, which is the reason for their rhetoric of not recognizing Russia’s war crimes against Ukraine and helping Russia to circumvent the sanctions.