Civic IDEA started observing Georgia’s foreign debt policy after the Georgian Dream officially refused financial assistance from the European Union. It turns out that Georgia is still actively borrowing from various financial institutions or directly from other countries, and the two main creditors of the country are the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). On September 21, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is highly affected by China, officially announced that it would provide the Georgian government with a USD 100 million loan, aiming to strengthen Georgia’s electricity sector. On September 24, ADB already approved a USD 15 million loan to assist Georgia in effectively implementing the vaccination programs. Three weeks before the debt approval from the ADB, the Georgian government publicly refrained from taking 75 million Euros worth of aid from the European Union. According to Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s official statement, Georgia has begun the reduction of its foreign debt, and therefore, no additional assistance from the EU was needed.
Based on the information we have, the question naturally arises: Why does the Georgian government take debt from the Asian Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank when their services are twice as expensive as the EU’s? We will provide our readers with a consistent history of when, why and under what conditions the Government of Georgia decided to cooperate with the bank, which was established only recently, in 2016.