Opposition Georgian MPs Roman Gotsiridze and Khatia Dekanoidze have proposed to temporarily suspend the issuance of investment and short-term residence permits to Russian citizens until the end of 2024, the country’s public broadcaster reported on Aug. 29, according to RFE/RL.
At his press conference, Gotsiridze said that he had already registered the relevant bill in the Georgian parliament.
Currently, foreign citizens in Georgia can apply for a residence permit to purchase real estate with a market value of more than $300,000 or invest the same amount in the country’s economy.
The MP said that a short-term residence permit is also granted when purchasing real estate with a market value of more than $100,000.
Gotsiridze explained his proposal by saying that the country is currently experiencing a “difficult socio-economic situation” and that its citizens are leaving the country en masse, while a large number of Russians, most of whom have significant financial resources, move to Georgia.
From 2022 to June 2023, Russian citizens bought up to 10,000 apartments in Georgia, which indicates their long-term residence plans in the country.
Gotsiridze said that Russians are also setting up their own companies and buying other types of real estate besides apartments. At the same time, real estate prices have risen significantly, making it more difficult for Georgian citizens to buy and rent apartments, the lawmaker noted.
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Georgia has taken a neutral position, refusing to impose sanctions against the Kremlin regime or to provide military assistance to Kyiv. At the same time, Tbilisi has provided humanitarian support and accepted Ukrainian refugees.
However, Georgia also became a country where Russians flocked to in great numbers after the announcement of mobilization in Russia in September 2022.
As of February 2023, Russian citizens have already opened 100,000 bank accounts in Georgia.
Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine