Irakli Garibashvili says Georgian residents and the nation’s financial system would undergo if Tbilisi sanctioned certainly one of its largest buying and selling companions.
Doha, Qatar – Georgia’s Prime Minister has stated imposing sanctions on Russia would “destroy” Tbilisi’s financial system and “harm the pursuits” of Georgian residents.
Russia is amongst Georgia’s prime buying and selling companions however the two nations have lengthy shared a strained relationship.
Georgia’s annual commerce turnover with Russia is “lower than $1bn”, Irakli Garibashvili stated on the Qatar Financial Discussion board in Doha on Wednesday. “That is ridiculous, isn’t it? That $1bn couldn’t have an effect on the Russian financial system.”
“By comparability: The European Union trades with Russia in simply 4 days, as a lot as we commerce in a yr. The place is the logic after we are referred to as to introduce sanctions in opposition to Russia?”
He additionally drew comparisons between the worldwide response to the 2008 Russo-Georgian war and the battle in Ukraine, saying, “Did anybody impose sanctions on Russia due to our conflict? Nobody on the earth made a proper response.
“The place is the logic of, ‘Our conflict shouldn’t be a conflict’ however in Ukraine it’s.”
The conflict in August 2008, which lasted a matter of days, noticed Russia invade Ukraine and in the end seize management of two breakaway areas – Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
For the reason that battle in Ukraine started, Georgia, an ex-Soviet nation, has performed a balancing act between its neighbour and its want to hitch the European Union.
When Russia ordered a partial mobilisation final yr, 1000’s of males reluctant to serve flocked to Georgia in search of shelter.
Earlier this month, Tbilisi lifted a Russian flight ban following a choice by Moscow.
However the two nations haven’t shared diplomatic relations for the reason that 2008 conflict.
“Georgia is extraordinarily in a troublesome scenario due to our geography, due to the continuing occupation,” Garibashvili stated.
Whereas public assist for Ukraine is powerful in Georgia, critics of the prime minister and his governing Kartuli Otsneba get together (Georgia Dream get together) have advised they’re pro-Russian.
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili and the EU condemned the choice over flights, at a time when the bloc’s airspace stays closed to Russian planes in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
“This step raises issues by way of Georgia’s EU path and its dedication to align with the EU within the international coverage,” EU international affairs spokesman Peter Stano stated.
In Doha, Garibashvili defended the transfer to restart flights.
“We didn’t say that we’d cease financial relations with Russia … many nations do flights with Russia,” Garibashvili stated.
“This conflict impacts all of us politically. We all know that at this time roughly 20 p.c of Ukrainian territory is occupied by Russia. That is the established order at this time.
“Sadly, we didn’t see any signal that this conflict goes to finish quickly. That is the issue.”
With reporting by Hafsa Adil in Doha.