The Daily Beat

The Daily Beat: 13 December

  • The National Bank of Georgia told the commercial banks to tread carefully when handling transactions with Iran, warning of the potential delays in foreign exchange transactions and even U.S. sanctions. The Bank explained businesses use the Iran route for trade as it is shorter and cuts the mounting trade costs. While implementing the UN sanctions and some of the US-imposed ones, Georgia maintains diplomatic ties and active trade relations with Iran.
  • Georgia’s foreign trade turnover of goods grew 32.2% year-on-year, to USD 17.02 billion, according to the National Statistics Office. One informed guess is that a sharp uptick in trade and consumption is linked to sanctions imposed on Russia. While the inflow of new residents boosts foreign exchange reserves, retail, and construction, through-trade also seems to increase. More detailed statistics are needed to pinpoint the sources of growth.
  • Foreign Minister, Ilia Darchiashvili attended the EU Eastern Partnership ministerial in Brussels. Just as the EU Council decided to invite Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia hopes to mend the fences and join the accession club sometime next year.
  • The Romanian army chief is visiting Tbilisi to discuss Black Sea security – which becomes a hot topic with the recent EU announcements of the projects to lay power and internet cables on the seabed. Bucharest has also strongly backed Georgia’s NATO aspirations.
  • Alexander Ankvab, Sokhumi’s top minister, blamed Europe for seeking to pick another fight with Russia in Abkhazia. He was speaking to the Russian news agency and had a warm word to say about Tbilisi leadership, which, he said, sensibly resists urges to let slip the dogs of war.

Tit for tat

Anaklia Development Consortium, which was squeezed by the government from building the deep sea port, shot back at PM Garibashvili’s recent boast that the government was picking up the project. The statement read that detaining the majority government stake was a common corrupt practice no respectable lender would entertain. Curiously, the statement pointed to the new, critical documentary The Port That Never Was, screening at the movie festival in Tbilisi, as one of the reasons for PM raking up the past.  

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