“When two businessmen talk about trade relations with each other, is there anything surprising in that? The only country I know of that has imposed sanctions on Yevtushenkov is Australia,” said Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream party, regarding an audio recording allegedly involving Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the Georgian Dream, and Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Russian oligarch and founder of Sistemas.
Kobakhidze says that no-one knows whether the recording is authentic or not, adding that the position of the Government that they are not cutting trade relations with Russia is officially known.
“Nobody knows whether it is authentic or not. Even if it was authentic, there is nothing. We are talking about trade relations. You know that Georgia has officially stated its position on this, Georgia maintains trade relations with the Russian Federation. Let me remind you that Ukraine also maintains certain trade relations with the Russian Federation, receiving gas from Russia, including for its own consumption, and then transiting this gas to EU countries. Therefore, the fact that Georgia maintains trade relations is neither illegal nor immoral, especially in the conditions when Ukraine maintains it too.
“Regarding the investigation, it is up to the law enforcement agencies to decide, if there was a meeting with anyone, the Prime Minister will make a statement and comment on it. This recording concerns trade relations. When two businessmen talk about trade relations with each other, is there anything surprising in that? The only country I know of that has imposed sanctions on this person is Australia,” Kobakhidze said.
For the record, recently, an audio recording was spread on social media, allegedly involving Bidzina Ivanishvili and Vladimir Yevtushenkov.
The telephone conversation, dated March 10 and March 12 this year, concerns a meeting of Russian businessmen in Tbilisi. The recording mentions the name of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, about whom Ivanishvili allegedly told Yevtushenkov that he had met with his envoy. In response, Yevtushenkov allegedly asks Ivanishvili to personally meet with his representative.