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Russian capital in Georgia

By Messenger staff
Tuesday, November 25
The opposition is accusing some members of the country’s administration of lobbying for Russian capital to be invested in Georgia, thus betraying the country’s interests, it says. The authorities, on their side, tell the opposition it should distinguish between politics and economics, and insists on international measures being imposed on Russian companies which are active in the Russian-occupied territories of Georgia.

The major target of the opposition has become Kakha Bendukidze, whose exact administrative status is not clear but who certainly plays a very important if not decisive role in Georgia’s economic development. The New Rights recently accused Bendukidze of representing Russia’s interests and being a special agent working for Russia’s interests in Georgia. The authorities claim that the opposition accusations are groundless.

Newly appointed PM Grigol Mgaloblishvili says he is against imposing any special sanctions against Russian businessmen in Georgia. However the issue is rather controversial. For instance, Russian Gazprom is building a special gas pipeline to the separatist region of South Ossetia. This is of course economic support for aggressive politics. The project is not a commercial one because the construction is very costly and it is unlikely that Gazprom will ever even receive its investment back, to say nothing of profit.

The Georgian authorities insist that special legislation should be adopted against Russian companies which are actively involved in the business sphere of the occupied territories of Abkhazia and south Ossetia. However it remains to be seen how this would affect Russian businesses in Georgia proper which may have dealings with the separatist regions.