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Georgia has no plans to join all anti-Russian sanctions — diplomat

July 30, 2015, 20:41 UTC+3 TBILISI
Georgia prolonged by one year a ban on imports of goods produced in Crimea and Sevastopol
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© ITAR-TASS/David Urbani

TBILISI, July 30. /TASS/. Georgia has no plans to join all sanctions of the European Union against Russia, Georgian Prime Minister’s envoy for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze told reporters on Thursday in comments on an extension of economic sanctions against Russia by some European countries.

According to Abashidze, on June 19 Georgia automatically prolonged by one year a ban on imports of goods produced in Crimea and Sevastopol. "Our country’s joining other sanctions of the EU against Russia is not discussed," he added.

Seven European countries - Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Norway, Lichtenstein, Ukraine and Georgia have reaffirmed to the EU Council they prolonged the participation in the EU’s sanctions against Crimea and Sevastopol till June 23, 2016, as follows from a statement by the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, published on the EU Council’s website on July 28.

Six of these countries except Georgia also joined the EU’s decision of July 22 to prolong economic sanctions against Russia till January 31, 2016.

Representatives from Georgia’s United National Movement and some other parties have been urging the Georgian authorities over the recent months to join trade and economic sanctions the West imposed on Russia over Ukraine.

The leadership of the ruling coalition Georgian Dream and the government said in reply that Georgia had not received "any official appeal from the EU to restrict supplies of products to Russia".

In reply to the question whether Georgia intended to follow EU appeals to refrain from exports to Russia, Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili said that this concerned major exporters.

He said "Georgia is not a major exporter to Russia, and accordingly this situation will not affect Georgia". All government ministers mark that "Georgia will continue trade-economic cooperation with Russia, including exports to Russia".

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

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