Two Vice Presidents of the National Bank of Georgia, Archil Mestvirishvili and Papuna Lezhava, on Wednesday announced their resignation following a decree by the bank that allows access of US sanctioned Otar Partskhaladze, a former Prosecutor General under the current Government in 2013, to his domestic accounts until a Georgian court decided on the validity of sanctions imposed for promoting Russian interests.
Natia Turnava, an acting chair of the National Bank and the country’s former Economy Minister, on Wednesday said up to now, the enforcement of international sanctions had been done automatically according to the current rule, and there was “no necessity” to make an individual decision on the part of the bank.
She claimed Partskhaladze’s sanctioning was the first precedent of execution of a citizen of Georgia, and it “raised the necessity” of the engagement of domestic courts.
Turnava also responded to the claims by two major commercial banks in Georgia - TBC and the Bank of Georgia - that they will not follow the National Bank’s decree, and stressed the banks had no right not to obey NBG.
NBG’s move has already caused tension and clash in the state legislature between the ruling party and the opposition, with the latter accusing the Government of being “pro Russian” and “undermining the country’s European future” ahead of the European Union’s forthcoming decision later this year whether to grant Tbilisi its membership candidate status.