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NBG says Georgian citizen cannot be subjected to international sanctions in the absence of the conviction by the Georgian court

ნათია თურნავა სებ-ის ტრიბუნასთან
19.09.23 22:47

In response to the U.S. Treasury’s recent decision to sanction Georgia’s former Prosecutor General Otar Partskhaladze, the National Bank of Georgia which yesterday said that it froze assets and restricted transactions of sanctioned Partskhaladze later today issued a statement alerting the public to the amendment to its regulation that the Bank’s president promulgated and published in the official gazette and that would shield Partskhaladze from his assets and transactions being targeted in Georgia. 

Every citizen of Georgia is protected by the Constitution of Georgia, reads today’s statement continuing that the “ National Bank of Georgia, guided by the Constitution of Georgia and the principle of innocence, believes that Georgian citizen cannot be subjected to international sanctions, in the absence of the conviction by the Georgian court.“

It continues to state that according to the amendment promulgated today, neither Georgian citizens nor the companies owned or co-owned by them can be sanctioned in the absence of a conviction by the Georgian court.

On September 14, the United States imposed sanctions against Otar Partskhaladze. This is related to his business activities and cooperation with the Russian FSB. Before the official announcement of the decision, the media reported that a “Georgian-Russian oligarch” was among those subject to sanctions.

According to the US State Department, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) worked with Otar Partskhaladze to influence Georgian society and politics in favor of Russia.

In addition, the U.S. State Department statement said that in addition to Partskhaladze, sanctions were imposed on Russian intelligence officer Alexander Onishchenko, who allegedly helped “his accomplice Partskhaladze obtain a Russian passport and possibly Russian citizenship.”

On September 18, it became known that the National Bank of Georgia restricted former Prosecutor General and under U.S. sanctions Otar Partskhaladze’s access to bank assets and financial transactions. All his accounts have been frozen.

As the National Bank explained, the sanctioned person was restricted both in the disposal of funds and in the ability to conduct all types of financial transactions.

The news on imposed sanctions against Otar Partskhaladze has not been welcomed by the members of the Georgia’s ruling political party Georgian Dream. 

The current acting President of the NBG is Natia Turnava, a former Minister of Economy of Georgia from 2019 to 2022. During her farewell speech as the Minister, Turnava said that she would remain a member of the Georgian Dream party and was quitting because she wanted to change the field and try herself in another sector.