The provided study aims to investigate potential risks associated with Russian business ownership in various sectors of the Georgian economy. The research is grounded in sectoral analysis conducted by the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). In particular, we assess potential risks linked to Russian business ownership across eight industries: electricity, oil and natural gas, communications, mining and mineral waters, tourism, banking, construction, and transportation.
The sectoral assessment of Russian business ownership in the examined industries reveals concerning signs of ownership concentration, particularly in the electricity sector, followed by oil and natural gas, communications, and mining and mineral waters industries. In terms of tourism, banking, construction, and transportation, we find low to non-existent ownership-related influence.
To identify the specific risks associated with Russian business ownership, this study draws upon a comprehensive literature review and conducted expert interviews. The study places Russia within the context of a global threat actor and examines the exploitation of private business ownership by hostile state actors as a hybrid threat. We pay special emphasis on the significance of the concentration of Russian business ownership in Georgian critical industries (that potentially involve Critical Infrastructure (CI)), such as electricity, communications, and seaport - prompting considerable security implications.