The messenger logo

Arakhamia to Appeal to EU, US Leadership to Consider Personal Sanctions on Ivanishvili, His Assets in West.

By Khatia Bzhalava
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Davit Arakhamia, Chairman of the Servant of the People faction in Rada has responded to a release of an audio recording of an alleged call between Russian businessman, the founder of Sistemas, Vladimer Evtushenkov, and former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Arakhamia said that he would appeal to the EU and US leadership to consider imposing personal sanctions on Ivanishvili and his assets in the West.

According to him, Ivanishvili has become Georgia's Yanukovych and he is pursuing a policy toward Ukraine that isn't supported by the Georgian people. Arakhamia states that the country's ‘main oligarch’ Bidzina Ivanishvili has close ties with the Russian political elite, “which was once again confirmed by the recently spread audio recordings.”

“The nature of the current Georgian government's policy is simply to follow the Kremlin's instructions. This is the reason for their rhetoric of not recognizing Russia's war crimes against Ukraine and helping Russia in bypassing the sanctions,” Arakhamia stated.

The audio recording of an alleged call between Ivanishvili and the Russian sanctioned oligarch Yevtushenkov is dated March 10 and March 12 this year and concerns a meeting of Russian businessmen in Tbilisi. In the recording, Ivanishvili allegedly mentions that Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili had met with Yevtushenkov’s envoy. This information has been confirmed by Yevtushenkov himself, who told FormulaTV that Garibashvili had met with his company's vice president, Ali Uzdenov. He explains that the goal of the conversation was ‘nothing political’ and the sides talked about ‘vacation’. As for his relationship with Ivanishvili, he noted that they only have a friendly relationship and never had business ties with each other.

Irakli Kobakhidze, the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party responded to the release of the audio recording, questioning the authenticity of the recordings and stating that even if it is authentic, ‘there is nothing special in it’ as “two businessmen were talking about trade relations with each other.”

According to him, the Georgian Government's stated position of keeping the trade relations with the Russian Federation” is not against any law and does not contradict any other principles”.

“Ukraine is also involved in trade relations with Russia; therefore, the fact that Georgia maintains the trade relations is neither illegal nor immoral,” Kobakhidze stated.

The head of the GD party also responded to Arakhamia’s statement calling Ivanishvili a Georgian Yanukovych, saying that “they should search for Georgian Yanukovych in the Ukrainian government”. He also stated that Arakhamia is in radical opposition in Georgia, while in Ukraine he is in power, adding that the Georgian society would learn even more about Arakhamia after the end of the war.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Shalva Papuashvili said that the recording, which according to him is fabricated, is a part of a disinformation campaign against Georgia, aiming to ‘cause unrest in the country and to involve Georgia in the war’. As he stressed, there is no indication that these records are authentic.

“Overall, the goal of this is to cause unrest in the country, this is a stated goal to change the Government in an undemocratic way and then involve the country in a war,” Papuashvili said.

Yesterday, Lelo MP Salome Samadashvili demanded the summoning of Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili to the Parliament, according to interpellation rule. As she noted, since Ivanishvili could not be summoned to the Parliament, his ‘assistant’, Garibashvili, should answer all the questions related to the position of the Government regarding the sanctions regime and spread recording.