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Georgia: Economy Ministry rejects TV report, claims “harmful and irresponsible”

Georgia: The Ministry of Economy of Georgia, on Saturday, April 16, denied a local Georgian TV channel's report that alleged the nation's Black Sea port of Batumi had helped Russian vessels in circumvention of international sanctions put on Russia, calling the assertions "harmful and irresponsible".

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Georgia: The Ministry of Economy of Georgia, on Saturday, April 16, denied a local Georgian TV channel’s report that alleged the nation’s Black Sea port of Batumi had helped Russian vessels in circumvention of international sanctions put on Russia, calling the assertions “harmful and irresponsible”.

The remark came in response to a report on Saturday by the TV Pirveli channel, which claimed that Terminal 1 of the port had served Russian ships and allowed them to bypass sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

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Moreover, the services provided at the terminal did not violate or evade the sanctions, according to the state authority, which explained that the sanctions made exceptions in the areas of energy, agriculture, and food, as well as humanitarian help.

According to the Ministry, the ships’ visit to the port on April 7 comprised the unloading of diesel fuel, which falls under the exclusions.

“On April 7, 2022, a Russian-flagged ship, The Loyalty, entered the berth of Terminal 1 in the harbour of Batumi, discharged diesel fuel, and departed the port on April 12,” the statement stated, noting that the vessel arrived before a new round of European Union sanctions on Russia was imposed.

Furthermore, the Ministry, in its response to the report, stated that trade relations between the EU and Russia in the area of energy still exist.

The local News channel proceeded to “act harmfully and recklessly,” according to the official statement, and its reporting was “unchecked and dangerous” to state security. With the “irresponsible” content in its reporting, the Ministry accused the channel of undertaking an “anti-Georgian campaign.”

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