Georgian PM Concerned about Implications of Russia Sanctions

An ambiguous statement by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has confused Georgian society. The PM appears to regret backing sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea and occupying Sevastopol, Ukrainian territories. Garibashvili ambivalently cited the issue of Russia’s possible countersanction against Georgia for his second thoughts.

“I, as the head of the government, think that Georgia should not have joined the EU sanctions against Russia. We have had this position since last year and we have the same position now,” commented Georgian PM Garibashvili on the question asked about Georgia joining the EU sanctions against Russia.

“We are not going to change this position. The only sanction joined by Georgia last year concerned products manufactured in Crimea and Sevastopol. As you know, we have the same situation in Samachablo [meaning the occupied Tskhinvali Region] and Abkhazia. So, it was an inevitable necessity due to our non-recognition policy,” said the PM.

The PM added that he personally opposed Georgia joining the EU sanctions against Russia following the latest statement by the Russia’s Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) about the possible countersanction on Georgia for its decision to join the EU sanctions. 

According to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture said that they will survey the quality of wine and any other product exported to Russia.

The PM expressed satisfaction with negotiations regarding Russia: “The first thing is to be very careful about what we have achieved in trade relations with Russia.” However, his claim comes at a time when the borderization of Georgia’s occupied territory approaches a crisis point.

“I am sure internal destructive forces do not want our relations with Russia to be normalized, while our interest is to restore them to a neighborly status. The process has started, though Samachablo and Abkhazia remain the biggest impediments to it,” Garibashvili concluded.


Is the Georgian government playing obscurantist politics? How could one explain the PM’s vacillating statement while the same Garibashvili continuously confirms Georgia’s ‘irreversible’ course toward the EU and NATO?

Considering Georgia’s geographic location, it would be more logical for the country to opt for west or east value systems. However, the battle starts when the north, Russia appears on the horizon, with no soft power but hard power bereft of any attraction.

Zviad Adzinbaia

13 August 2015 22:57