Our Position
Does the Abkhaz transport corridor bring the Russian and Georgian authorities closer to cooperating to circumvent the sanctions imposed on Russia?

From the very first days of the beginning of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, Georgian Dream has cited Georgia's non-involvement in this war as its main merit. At the same time, the non-transparent and vague policy of the Georgian Government towards Russia, in addition to the appeasement of 20% of Georgia's sovereign territories, also shows a clear tendency to cooperate with Russia. The latter has been announced by the Georgian Government and the ruling party as a peaceful way to resolve territorial conflicts and presented as the only policy for restoring territorial integrity. In addition, the problem is that the Georgian Government does not publicize its relationship and alleged coordination with Russian and de facto Abkhazian authorities on the above issues. Against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine, such non-transparence raises doubts about the possible use of Georgia and Abkhazia, which is outside international control, to circumvent the sanctions imposed on Russia.

According to the contact persons of the Democracy Research Institute, last week in the Gali district, active movement of trucks with Russian license plates was observed across Enguri in the direction of Georgia and back. Some of the cars were escorted to the Enguri bridge by the vehicles of the state auto inspection (so-called GAI) of the de facto ministry of internal affairs of Abkhazia. In addition, the trucks crossed the so-called border checkpoint after 7:00 PM Moscow time, when the Russian and Abkhaz sides ban the movement of vehicles for other users, primarily residents of the Gali district. Abkhazia's de facto and Russian security services search local residents to ensure that they do not take photos or videotape the movement of the trucks.

In the given situation, the meeting between the First Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia and one of the leaders of Georgian Dream, Giorgi Volski, and the businessman close to the Russian Government, Davit Khidasheli, and the feedback to the details of their conversation in the Georgian media once again raised the question of what goals were served by the  Georgian authorities’s move to turn a blind eye to the  movement of cargo from or to Russia through the territory of occupied Abkhazia. The Georgian Dream leaders may present this negative trend as the rise of the Georgian economy through the increase of cargo turnover with Russia, or as a policy of integrating Abkhazia into Georgia. However, common sense requires us to consider how eager Russia and even more so its satellite Abkhazia's de facto authorities may be to be guided by the interests of Georgia. Obviously, the only logical conclusion here is that the political power in Georgia is guided only by its narrow interests when cooperating with Russia. In this context, a rhetorical question arises - how different is the policy of the Georgian Government from the policy of the de facto authorities of Abkhazia, baptized by it as a puppet regime of Russia?