TI Georgia publishes a report on the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and Georgia's economic dependence on Russia.
According to the report, compared to previous years, Georgia's economic dependence on Russia is increasing.
According to TI, this increase is mainly due to the sharp increase in remittances.
According to the report, despite the fact that Georgia's economic dependence on Russia has increased significantly in 2022, it has not reached such a level that even if economic relations with this country are completely cut off, Georgia will find itself in a deep crisis and will not be able to develop.
In the same report, recommendations are given to the government, where it is mentioned that the goal of the Georgian government should be to reduce the economic dependence on Russia to a minimum.
As for imports, according to TI, the share of products imported from Russia in Georgia's total imports increased from 10.2% to 13.1%, which is the highest figure in the last 16 years.
As for remittances, according to the information of the organization, an important source of income for Georgia is money transferred by Georgians employed in Russia.
"In recent years, the share of remittances received from Russia in the total remittances received by Georgia tended to decrease. For example, in 2012, Russia's share in Georgia's total foreign remittances was 56%, and in 2021 - 17.5%. This was caused by two circumstances: the amount of money transferred from Russia to Georgia decreased from year to year, while the volume of transfers from other countries increased.
In 2022, the situation in remittances has changed significantly, which is the result of the Russian-Ukrainian war. In January-March of this year, an average of 24 million US dollars per month was transferred from Russia to Georgia. Remittances began to grow rapidly from April, when 133 million US dollars were remitted, and in May, a record monthly amount of 314 million US dollars was sent, and in June-September, remittances averaged 154 million US dollars per month. In total, 1,135 million US dollars were sent from Russia to Georgia in 9 months of 2022, which is even more than the total annual figure of previous years. As a result, the share of remittances from Russia in total remittances received by Georgia increased to 40%. The last such high rate was in 2015. If we compare transfers from Russia in April-September 2022 with the same period of the previous year, it has increased 5 times. The main reason for such a high growth is the significantly increased flow of Russian citizens moving to Georgia, who send money from Russia and/or transfer their own savings. It seems that Russian citizens are avoiding the difficult situation created in their country and the imposed sanctions after the start of the war in Ukraine, some of whom decided to stay in Georgia for a long time. It should be noted that the growth of remittances from Russia at such a high rate is a one-time factor and will remain at the same level or decrease next year," the report says.