“Georgia had a war in 2008, and do you remember if anyone imposed sanctions on Russia because of our war? No one, no one in the world, made a proper reaction, and I would say adequate reaction to that war. So, my question is, where’s the logic?” Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated at the panel discussion of the Third Annual Economic Forum in Qatar.
According to the PM, the US and Europe continued business with Russia as usual following the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war. However, the PM argued that by the imposition of sanctions on Russia by Georgia because of the war in Ukraine, the Georgian economy would be destroyed, and the national interests of the country would be “harmed.”
“We would not only injure Georgia, but we would also destroy our economy. We would damage the interest of our country, and we would damage the interest of our people if we impose some kind of economic sanctions on Russia. You know it well, we had a war in 2008, and do you remember if anyone imposed sanctions on Russia because of our war? No one, no one in the world, made a proper reaction, and I would say adequate reaction to that war. So, my question is, where’s the logic? Our war is not a war, and the Ukrainian war is a war? I have to say that we were quite disappointed that business as usual continued with Russia after the 2008 war.
The result of that war, devastating war, is that 20% of our territory is occupied by Russia. Russia built two military bases on our historic lands. Russia recognized the so-called independence of our historic regions, and this occupation is ongoing. So, my question to our European, to American friends is the following: My dear friends, you continued business as usual with Russia. No one imposed sanctions on Russia. For your information and for the information of the audience, European Union paid 2.5 trillion dollars between 2008 and 2022 to Russia. No one stopped the business. Nothing happened.
In this situation, let me once again confirm that we support Ukraine, we support the Ukrainian people, and we want this war to end as soon as possible. We join more than 500 resolutions, and statements everywhere – on every international platform. We fully comply with the financial sanctions. US State Department officially declared that the Georgian financial institutions, the National Bank, fully comply with the financial sanctions. But when it comes to economic sanctions, let me explain to the public and you that Georgia’s trade turnover with Russia is less than $1 billion.
Less than 1 billion dollars. It’s just for comparison – what the EU trades with Russia in four days, we trade with Russia in one year. This is ridiculous, isn’t it? That $1 billion could not affect the Russian economy. This is 0.3% if we had, or if we would impose an economic sanction on Russia, so there’s no logic. This would, again, destroy and harm the national interests of my country,” Irakli Garibashvili said.
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