U.S. Ambassador Comments on Ivanishvili Meeting

In reference to Bidzina Ivanishvili’s July 27 letter mentioning that he met with U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan on March 21, Ambassador Degnan stated, “let me say it very clearly so that no one has any more questions – there was never any talk about Georgia’s involvement in Russia’s war against Ukraine or about ‘blackmail’ or actions related to delaying the transfer of money to Mr. Ivanishvili.”

In his written statement, Ivanishvili had addressed rumors started by one of the recently departed GD trio, MP Mikheil Kavelashvili, and picked up by his fellow departees Dimitri Khundadze, and Sozar Subari, of a possible meeting between U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan and Ivanishvili since the war in Ukraine, insinuating that the Ambassador tried to blackmail the ex-PM into war. While he did not touch upon these claims he did reveal the date of their last meeting.

“As a rule, we do not talk about personal meetings with the press, but as Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili confirmed, I last met him on March 21, after which, a lot of time has passed,” Amb. Degnan told Interpressnews on July 27. “Our meetings have always been about the U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership and U.S. efforts to support the development of Georgia’s economy, security, and democracy.”

“When the United States imposes financial sanctions, we announce them publicly,” she emphasized. “There is a searchable list on the Treasury Department’s website where banks, the media, and the general public can check who is and is not subject to financial sanctions.”

“Any discussion of Swiss bank accounts is frankly a distraction from important work,” the Ambassador concluded. “As Mr. Ivanishvili noted in his July 27 announcement, this is a private matter between him and the financial institutions.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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