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Acting National Bank President Met With IMF Representative

Natia Turnava, the Acting President of the National Bank of Georgia, on Thursday met Andrew Jewell, the permanent representative of the International Monetary Fund in Georgia, to explain the controversial recent amendments in the regulation on the body’s compliance with the international financial sanctions against Russia that exempted citizens of the country from domestic sanctions without court rulings.

The National Bank said Turnava confirmed to Jewell that "all regulations and restrictions" imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine by the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom would be maintained.

"The National Bank of Georgia attaches special importance to cooperation with the International Monetary Fund. At the meeting, we agreed that intensive communication with the Fund will continue in the future. We are ready to give comprehensive answers to any questions", Turnava said after the meeting.

The NBG also said it was in “intensive communication” with the domestic financial sector, international financial institutions and "all interested parties" on the matter.

The development followed the Bank's reversal on Tuesday of its decree to sanction Otar Partskhaladze, the former Prosecutor General of the country, after he was last week sanctioned by the United States Department of State for alleged ties with Russia.

In the U-turn, the NBG said it was amending its regulations to exempt the country’s nationals from domestic sanctions without court authorisation, a decision followed by resignation of several members of the Bank’s board and three of its Vice Presidents. 

Salome Zourabichvili, the President of Georgia, on Wednesday called for the resignation of Turnava and alleged the latter had "succumbed to threats" by the ruling Georgian Dream party following the original decision to sanction Partskhaladze.