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Georgia restricts car exports to Russia, Belarus

Georgia restricted exports and re-exports of American cars to Russia, after refusing in 2022 to enact any of its own restrictions, according to the sanctions imposed over the invasion of Ukraine.
Photo: Freepik \ Georgia and Russia flags

On 1 August, exports and re-exports of American cars from Georgia to Russia were restricted, according to the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance, Radio Liberty’s Caucasus “Echo of the Caucasus” reports.

Exports and re-exports of cars imported from the European Union to Russia will be restricted starting 26 September.

According to the package of sanctions approved on 23 June, cars with an engine capacity of more than 1,900 cubic centimeters (1.9 liters), as well as all electric and hybrid cars, are banned from entering Russia.

Earlier, Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili expressed hope that the re-export of cars to Russia would not stop. According to him, the trade in passenger cars is an important source of income for Georgia.

Previously, on 24 May 2023, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated at an economic forum in Qatar that if his country were to enact direct sanctions against Russia, it would result in a collapse of Georgia’s economy.

Georgia has maintained close economic ties with Russia despite a war in 2008 that resulted in the occupation of about 20% of its territory by Russian forces.

In 2022, Georgia joined international sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but refused to enact any of its own restrictions.

Some analysts have suggested that Georgia’s refusal to join the sanctions could damage its aspirations to join NATO and the EU and weaken its position in the negotiations over its occupied regions.

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