First of all, I welcome member of parliament Mr. Gia Tortladze’s pathos to research Russian capital’s influence on the Georgian reality and accordingly on the policy. As you know, this topic is not unknown to me and I’ve been trying for years (unfortunately, in vain) to focus the government’s attention in this direction. Accordingly, I have gathered knowledge, and I’m ready to share with the author of the ‘Patriot Act’ specific information, or statistic, which I have gathered for all this time.
Before we meet, I can tell him and all the interested persons in advance about one person’s activity, someone who deserves more attention as persons interested in the Georgian economic security talk about. The issue is exactly about that infamous Gazprom, about which there are a lot of discussions.
It’s about the person who bought a controlling share in the company Atomstroyexport in 2003. Atomstroyexport is a company, which produces Russian nuclear power plants abroad. I think Mr. Gia did not need to explain which services supervise such so-called ‘businesses’ in Russia. A little bit later he resold it to Gazprom Bank, with received money arrived in Georgia and became the economy minister, Kakha Bendukidze. While being a minister, he sold his most important asset to the same Gazprom Bank: his shares in The United Machine-building plants. This was the Gazprom paid second tranche in his pocket and accordingly in Georgia.
In this period this person was roughly lobbing the issue about selling the gas pipeline to Gazprom, which we fortunately avoided, with the help of our American friends.
He was conducting strange tenders to deploy Russian capital in Georgia. For example, the scandalous win of Euras Holding in the tender, violating the law regarding the package of Chiaturmanganum, the result of which was total international discrediting of this object.
We can bring many examples, but I will discuss it when I personally meet with Mr. Gia.
But before that, I suggest presumable questions to the investigation commission – MPs disturbed of Russian money influence I hope will come with the initiative to set up one (commission):
How could it happen that the sub-control of the Russian special service fully controlled sphere was transferred to the future Georgian Economic minister, Kakha Bendukidze?
How did it happen that the ‘case’ initiated from the Russian Chamber of Control regarding the credit taken by Atomstroiexport from the Moscow City Hall was preserved? How did it happen that the already Georgian Economy Minister smoothly managed to sell his core assets in Russia?
How are these transactions consistent with the values of assets at market prices?
If it’s not consistent, why?
Maybe these transactions are related to the powerful lobby of the Russian state and business under its control in Georgia?
There are many questions; including the ones, which are not worth to be asked in public, considering the government’s interests.
Generally, the special services do not seek allies in the opposition in foreign countries; first of all they try to implant them inside the government. I think that in Georgia they manage to do it quite well.
Gia Khukhashvili is an energy analyst