The US administration cannot fully lobby its business interests in Georgia because of the local «Putin ally».
This was written by Republican Congressman Markuane Mullin in a publication for The Hill.
The article is about Bidzin Ivanishvili, who leads the ruling party in Georgia and is considered the «godfather» of the country, due to its influence. Mullin points out that the Georgian politician was educated in Russia, and made his fortune in the «dashing 1990s».
Ivanishvili led the Georgian Dream coalition to power in 2012. Then he headed the government of the country. But even after the resignation, according to the congressman, Ivanishvili retained influence, and afterwards returned to the presidency of his party.
“Ivanishvili’s need for unconditional consolidation of power and control is not limited to the Georgian government. Putin’s ally is actively working to expel American business legally operating in the country”, — Mullin resents.
As an example, he cited the company Frontera Resources, which made money by extracting and selling Georgian energy. Also on the list there were Iconia Capital LLC, Georgian American Alloys, Georgia Manganese, Philip Morris. All of them, according to the Republican, were subjected to pressure from Ivanishvili.
In this regard, the congressman recalled his last year’s bill, which included anti-Georgian sanctions. In particular, the document made it possible to identify current or former Georgian officials who interfere with American business interests.
“If the president decides that Georgia has committed such actions, the president must impose financial and trade sanctions on the Georgian government, as well as impose sanctions on visas and property of certain individuals”, — the politician explained.
Mullin calls the endorsement of his initiative a “good first step” to punish Georgian politicians who are objectionable to Washington by showing them how the United States “supports the struggle for freedom”.
It is worth noting that Mullin is not the only one who demanded to add Ivanishvili to the American black list. Lobbying the interests of US companies, other Republicans tried to discredit the Georgian politician. So, in June, a group of congressmen demanded that the White House impose sanctions against Ivanishvili, calling him a “close ally” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. The appeal was set out in the report “Strengthening America and Countering Global Threats”, developed by the Republican Research Committee.
“Current sanctions are not being used enough against Putin’s foreign friends, undermining the sovereignty of the former Soviet republics. Bidzina Ivanishvili, the richest man in Georgia, is a close ally of Putin and is involved in the destabilization of Georgia in favor of Russia”, — the report said.