TI Report on Georgia’s Economic Dependence on Russia in 2023

On February 16, Transparency International – TI Georgia, a local watchdog, released a report summarizing Georgia’s economic dependence on Russia in 2023. The organization notes that Georgia’s economic dependence on Russia has decreased compared to 2022, but it has remained “considerably higher” than in 2021. TI-Georgia points to the drop in remittances as the main reason for the decline.

In particular, Georgia received USD 3.1 billion from Russia in 2023 through remittances, tourism, and exports of goods, which was 13% lower than the corresponding figure in 2022. In 2023, Georgia’s revenues from Russia amounted to 10.3% of the country’s GDP, while in 2022 this figure was 14.5%.


Russian citizens registered 11 552 companies in Georgia in 2023. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, they have registered a total of 26 339 companies, which is a 3.6-fold increase from March 2022 compared to 1995 – 2021.

According to the report, as of December 31, 2023, there were up to 34 000 companies registered by Russians in Georgia.

TI-Georgia notes that 96% of the businesses registered in 2022-2023 were sole proprietorships, which the watchdog says is indicative of a long-term settlement trend.

Russian visitors to Georgia totaled 1.4 million in 2023, up 30% from 2022, but down 3.6% from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

According to TI-Georgia, the share of Russian visitors (among total visitors) increased from 20% in 2022 to 20.1% in 2023.

A part of the Russian visitors have settled in Georgia for a long time. According to National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat), 62,300 Russian citizens stayed to live in Georgia in 2022.

Although migration data for 2023 has not yet been published, TI-Georgia, citing the Georgian MIA, says that in 2023, 1,856,000 visitors from Russia entered Georgia and 1,887,000 left the country.

Citing data from the National Bank of Georgia, TI also notes that Russian visitors spent USD 938 million in Georgia in 2023, which was 5.3% more than the same figure in 2022. The share of revenues from Russian visitors was 22.8% in 2023 and 25.3% in 2022.


Remittances from Russia to Georgia totaled $1.5 billion in 2023, down 26% from 2022 but up 3.7 times from 2021. TI-Georgia attributes this increase to the growing number of Russian migrants settling in Georgia.

The watchdog also notes that Russia’s share of total remittances was 37% in 2023, down 10.3% from 2022.


Georgia’s trade turnover with Russia in 2023 decreased by 3 percent compared to 2022 and amounted to USD 2.4 billion. According to the watchdog, the decrease in trade turnover was caused by the decrease in imports.

Georgia’s exports to Russia increased by 2.3 percent in 2023, reaching USD 657 million. However, Russia’s share of total exports decreased from 11.5 percent in 2022 to 10.8 percent in 2023.

According to TI-Georgia, the largest increase was in the export of soft drinks from Georgia to Russia, up $32 million (36%).

The watchdog mentions the decision of the Georgian Government to ban the re-export of vehicles from the U.S. to Russia on August 1, 2023, and another ban on the re-export of vehicles from EU countries to Russia from September 26, 2023. The report emphasizes that before the introduction of the bans, in January-July 2023, the re-export of vehicles from Georgia to Russia increased by 200% compared to the same period in 2022, while in August-December they decreased by 98%. According to the watchdog, the total re-export of vehicles from Georgia to Russia in 2023 decreased by 11% compared to the previous year.


Meanwhile, TI-Georgia highlights that “the export of Georgian wine is distinguished by high dependence on the Russian market,” noting that the Georgian wine exports to Russia increased by 5 percent in 2023, reaching USD 168 million. It adds that Russia accounted for 65 percent of total wine exports, the highest share since 2013, when Georgian wine returned to the Russian market.


Imports from Russia decreased by 5 percent to USD 1.7 billion in 2023 compared to 2022, but increased by 71% compared to 2021. The report also notes that Russia’s share of Georgia’s total imports was 11.3% in 2023, 2.2 percentage points lower than in 2022.

According to the report, the largest decrease in 2023 was observed in petroleum products. Their import from Russia decreased by $70 million (11%) compared to 2022. It’s noted that the decrease in imports of Russian fuel in 2023 was caused by two factors: 1. Russia’s decision to stop exporting gasoline from September 21 to November 17; and 2. Russian gasoline has become more expensive.

Meanwhile, natural gas imports increased by 15% compared to 2022 and reached 596 million cubic meters (USD 131 million). According to the report, the share of Russian natural gas in Georgia’s domestic consumption increased to 20 percent (80% of natural gas in Georgia’s domestic consumption is imported from Azerbaijan).


Russian FDI in Georgia reached $67 million in January-September 2023, up 17% from the same period in 2022, with significant investments in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors.



Based on the above figures, TI-Georgia stresses the threat that economic dependence on Russia poses to Georgia, “as Russia traditionally uses economic relations as a lever of political pressure on independent countries.” It urges the Georgian authorities to minimize economic dependence on Russia by taking the following steps:

  • Work more actively to reduce trade with Russia by concluding the free trade agreements with all strategic partners;
  • Develop a strategy to reduce dependence on the Russian wine market;
  • Withhold state budget assistance for companies that contribute to increasing economic dependence on Russia.

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