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European Parliament's Resolution supports sanctions against Ivanishvili, release of Saakashvili and Gvaramia

By Liza Mchedlidze
Thursday, December 15, 2022
The European Parliament adopted an annual resolution on the implementation of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union. 430 out of 608 MEPs supported the drafted resolution, 52 voted against it, and 126 abstained.

The European Parliament expressed concern over the high level of polarization in Georgia and talked about oligarchic influences, anti-Western attacks, the pardon of Nika Gvaramia, and a politicized court. In the document, the European Parliament also calls on the authorities to transfer Mikheil Saakashvili abroad for treatment and calls on the President of Georgia to use her constitutional prerogative to resolve this issue.

Bidzina Ivanishvili is referred to as an oligarch in the amendment of the European Parliament and Georgia is recommended to fight his influence in political and public life with various reforms:

"Emphasizes the need to eliminate excessive influence based on personal interests in economic, political, and public life, as determined by the European Commission as one of the priorities for Georgia to receive candidate status. It recommends eliminating excessive influence based on interests, especially in the case of the oligarch and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, through systematic structural and regulatory reforms in various political, economic, and public life of the country."

According to the 25th amendment, the text about sanctioning Ivanishvili was added to this paragraph.

"Again calls on the Council of Europe and democratic partners to take appropriate measures, including imposing personal sanctions on Ivanishvili and all individuals responsible for the deterioration of democratic political processes."

The document also mentioned Ivanishvili's alleged connections with Russia. According to the European Parliament, they are concerned about reports of bypassing Western sanctions through Georgia. The European Parliament calls on the institutions of the European Union to consider these reports in detail, especially about Ivanishvili, and in case of confirmation, impose sanctions on him and his close circle.

"[The European Parliament] is concerned about reports that Russian citizens and entities are allegedly using Georgia to circumvent Western sanctions. Calls on the EU institutions to further investigate these allegations, including the study of the report of the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption of Ukraine, which talks about the connections of Bidzina Ivanishvili with Russia.

If these accusations are confirmed, it calls for the imposition of personal sanctions against Bidzina Ivanishvili and his closest companies, noting that Ukraine has imposed sanctions on members of Ivanishvili's family and his close associates, who are behind the ambiguous position of the current Georgian government towards Russia, due to their ties to the Kremlin;

In this regard, it welcomes the adoption of the eighth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a list of new criteria, which will allow the EU to impose sanctions on those who facilitate the circumvention of sanctions," the European Parliament report noted.

The mentioned amendment was supported by 275 members of the European Parliament, 212 went against it, and 132 abstained.