In the wake of the military clashes with Russia, Georgia intends to halt import of Russia’s consumer goods, shifting to the product of Ukrainian make, GUAM General Secretary Valery Chechelashvili announced in Kyiv, according to Kommersant. GUAM is a regional organization comprising four ex-Soviet states - Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
Ukraine will be the leading trading partner of Georgia. It ranks the third or the fourth now, after Turkey and Azerbaijan. But the role of Ukraine will be growing; it will completely substitute for the economic relations that Georgia had with Russia, Newsru.com reported with reference to Chechelashvili.
Through the help of the United States, the EU and Ukraine, Tbilisi will re-establish economy as soon as possible. The worth of Ukrainian-Georgian economic relation will soon reach $1 billion, Chechelashvili was sure.
For Georgia, economic aftereffects of the war are grave. The Economy Ministry has downgraded the outlook for the GDP growth from 12 percent to between 5 percent and 6 percent. But the size of the humanitarian aid is impressive. Chechelashvili said Washington appropriated $1 billion, the EU gave
?130 million and Ukraine provided 100 million hryvnias.
Given this statement of Chechelashvili, the destiny of Russia’s assets in Georgia provokes speculations. Russia’s business owns quite a number of assets there, LUKOIL-Georgia, for instance, covers up to 25 percent of diesel fuel and petrol retail and Bank VTB (Georgia) is one of the leaders of Georgian banking sector with its 14 branches and 13 service offices in all regions of the country. Itera-Georgia supplies gas to 103 enterprises in Georgia, including 38 regional gas distribution companies, in nine of which it owns majority stakes. What’s more, Russia hasn’t halted gas supplies to Georgia and the fuel transit to Armenia via Georgia.
Russia had been the fifth biggest trading partner of Georgia before the South Ossetian war. It had followed Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Germany in terms of the trading turnover.