On June 8, Jim O’Brien, Head of the Office of Sanctions Coordination at the U.S. State Department, said while speaking about the sanctions against Russia that Georgia has been identified among five countries that are causing the circumvention problem.
Speaking at an event hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), in response to the question about which countries are involved in this circumvention, O’Brien listed Turkey, Kazakhstan, Georgia, the United Arab Emirates, and Armenia.
O’Brien highlighted the issue of European companies selling materials to other countries, which are then reselling them to Russia. This practice has allowed Russia to reimport, by the start of 2023, crucial categories of electronics at levels similar to those before the war, having access to chips, processors, and integrated circuits, which are key to making modern weapons. “It’s a substantial problem. That’s why I’m going to Kazakhstan. That’s why I’m going to Georgia, Armenia, and other places,” added O’Brien.
UPDATE: On June 9, the Ministry of Finance of Georgia said the media had “misinterpreted” O’Brien’s statement, and used it as “disinformation against Georgia.” Georgia was mentioned not as a country where the sanctions imposed by our international partners are being circumvented, but as the one that actively cooperates with partners to prevent violations of the sanctions regime as much as possible,” the Ministry argued.