Euro SIFMANet: Tbilisi Report

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Skyline of Tbilisi and Narikala Castle, Tbilisi. Courtesy of MehmetO / Alamy


Discussions revealed the particular challenges that Georgia faces in implementing sanctions against Russia – and how its partners can help.

Georgia, as a country which borders Russia and has ambitions to join the EU, is in a difficult geopolitical situation. The raft of sanctions that the EU and allies have imposed on Russia therefore raises serious questions for Tbilisi.

As an EU candidate country, Georgia is expected to align with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), which includes the numerous restrictive measures imposed on Russia. 1 However, with 20% of its territory – Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region or South Ossetia – under Russian occupation, Georgia faces the challenge of striking a balance. On the one hand, it has sympathy and solidarity with Ukraine given the Russian occupation. On the other, it wants to avoid actions that lead to further Russian aggression against Georgia.

In November 2023, the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies at RUSI, in collaboration with the Regional Institute of Security Studies (RISS), hosted a series of roundtable discussions in Tbilisi with Georgian authorities and representatives from the private sector and civil society. The aim of these discussions was to obtain insights into Georgia’s position on the international sanctions against Russia and the current Georgian efforts, within their national jurisdiction, to prevent circumvention and evasion. This engagement is part of the European Sanctions and Illicit Finance Monitoring and Analysis Network (SIFMANet), supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.


WRITTEN BY

Tom Keatinge

Director, CFCS

Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

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Gonzalo Saiz

CFCS Research Analyst

Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies

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Footnotes

1:
European Commission, ‘Commission Staff Working Document: Georgia 2023 Report Accompanying the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions’, SWD(2023) 697 final, 8 November 2023, <https://neighbourhood-enlargement.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2023-11/SWD_2023_697%20Georgia%20report.pdf>, accessed 3 December 2023.

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