On 9 September, Dimitri Lortkipanidze, Director of the Moscow-funded Primakov Georgia-Russia Public Center, reported that the accounts of the Center have been closed by one of Georgia’s leading private financial institutions – TBC Bank.
In a social media post, which since has been deleted, Lortkipanidze said that “banking terror has begun” and published the notification sent to him by TBC Bank. In this notification, the bank cited its internal policy of adhering to international sanctions and has given Lortkipanidze one week to transfer the money held in the closed accounts.
Lortkipanidze’s personal accounts were not affected. But TBC Bank said the organization with links to Primakov Georgia-Russia Public Center has fallen under international sanctions against Russia.
Lortkipanidze has been the director of the Primakov Center in Georgia since 2018. Most recently, in 2021, he has been implicated in the so-called “Cartographers’ Case” scandal that led to the arrest of the two Foreign Ministry civil servants. The Center was created by the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin and reports to finance Russian language courses, cultural and educational events.