Georgia to consider restricting residence permits for Russians
The flag of Georgia. Photo: EPA

A group of opposition MPs in Georgia have proposed that the granting of investment and short-term residence permits to Russian citizens be suspended until the end of 2024, local media reported.

In Georgia, foreign nationals can apply for a residence permit that will allow them to purchase real estate at a market price exceeding USD 300,000 or invest the same amount in the Georgian economy.

Roman Gotsiridze, one of the Georgian MPs behind the initiative, said a short-term residence permit could also be obtained in case of purchasing real estate worth more than USD 100,000.

He explained that the difficult socio-economic situation in Georgia has led to an exodus of Georgian citizens while a significant number of Russian citizens with large financial resources have come to the country.

By June 2023, Russian citizens alone had purchased more than 10,000 apartments in Georgia, with many of them setting up companies and buying other types of real estate. Rising real estate prices are making it harder for Georgian citizens to buy or rent housing, Mr Gotsiridze said.

Georgian president Salome Zourabishvili has recently called for strengthening state control over Russian investors and those from other countries such as Cyprus and Israel.

The current Georgian government, led by the populost Georgian Dream party, has sought to keep good relations with Russia, which occupied a fifth of Georgian territory in 2008.

It has refused to impose unilateral sanctions on Russia, saying it would unduly harm its economy, which is now heavily dependent on Russian tourists and investors.