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Georgia and Turkey: one step from oil to doughnuts2010-09-28 19:18
Georgian National Statistics Service has brought happy news: within the past eight months, Turkey turned out to be the country's largest trade partner, while the aggregate foreign trade turnover in the reported period amounted to 4 billion 051 million dollars, which is 17 percent more than the last year. It was the break of relationship with the Russian Federation that ensured Turkey's getting to the pedestal of economic ties. The former was the basic sale market for Georgian products, though Turkey gives Georgia much more than it gets back. Is it reasonable to regard it as partnership, though?
The leading position in enriching Georgian state treasury was yielded to Turkey by Azerbaijan and Ukraine, while all the European Union countries together made their humble contribution of about 1 billion dollars. However, these joint efforts were in vain: the red ink in Georgia's trade balance has grown by 4 percent, presently totaling the amount of 2 billion 098 million dollars. It's all not for nothing, though: the import and export of the Caucasian republic are close to merging together in bliss.
Nevertheless, Georgian-Turkish relations have not always been as cloudless as they look on paper. Yes, Turkey was the first to recognize the independence of the Soviet republics and tried to make some of them part of the world economic system. Still, certain strain was often evident in the context of perturbation with South Ossetia. For instance, in 2009, Mikheil Saakashvili's government threatened with sanctions in respect of those Turkish companies that were making business in another "separatist" republic, Abkhazia. Particularly, a special warning was made to the Turkish branch of the Benetton Italian company.
The aggravation of the Georgian jealousy entailed the detention of Turkish ships, vessel Denfa Demet and dry cargo carriers PUR NAVOLOK and New Star by Sakartvelo border guards in neutral waters. Besides, this April, Head of the South-Caucasian Department of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Nurdan Bayraktar Golder stated that her country would continue developing economic ties with Sukhum within the confines suggested by the European Union strategy. The point at issue was the establishment of direct trade connections, though before that, both countries had acted via the Turkish ambassador to Georgia.