Georgia: Opposition Tycoon Ivanishvili Says Spent ‘$1 Billion’ On State


Georgian-born billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili said on Tuesday that he had earlier spent $1 billion on supporting the Georgian government.

Ivanishvili told the Georgian weekly news magazine Liberali that he had spent the money on “building up the present day authorities in Georgia.”

In October, Ivanishvili, who is now in opposition to President Mikheil Saakashvili, earlier announced his intention to set up a party and run for parliament in 2012. He also said he plans to create an “objective” media holding in the country.

The Georgian authorities have since revoked Ivanishvili’s Georgian citizenship, citing his Russian and French passports. Georgia does not allow dual citizenship. As Ivanishvili has no Georgian citizenship he cannot set up any political parties and cannot run for parliament in 2012.

Ria Novosti

RIA Novosti was Russia's leading news agency in terms of multimedia technologies, website audience reach and quoting by the Russian media.

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