An exclusive interview of “The Georgian Times” with a famous Georgian businessman Davit Iakobashvili

As anti-corruption movement informs, 81 thousand tons of sanctioned “Rosneft” fuel was imported on October 8, 2022, from Russia to Georgia. The aforesaid company names “San Petroleum Georgia” to be the recipient of the sanctioned cargo that is owned by “Petrocas Energy Group”, which is listed as a sanctioned company by the government of Ukraine. The information spread by the company was commentated on by Revenue Service which noted that the statement made by the anti-corruption movement was “misinformation”. It is worth mentioning that names of the founders of “Petrocas”, famous Georgian businessman living in Europe, Davit Iakobashvili and his partner, businessman Ivane Nakaidze, were voiced regarding the occasion. We got interested in the actual situation to find out where Davit Iakobashvili is today and what kind of ties, he has with “Petrocas”. After we obtained relevant materials, we found out that he takes no participation in the management of the company from April 2022 and at this stage he owns only a minority share. Later, “The Georgian Times” managed to contact the Georgian businessman abroad and asked him to take his stance regarding the occasion.


“The Georgian Times”: Mr. David, as far as it is known, 81 thousand tons of sanctioned “Rosneft” fuel was imported from Russia to Georgia. The company names “San Petroleum Georgia” to be the recipient of the sanctioned cargo that is listed as a sanctioned company by the government of Ukraine and is owned by “Petrocas Energy Group”. What role do you play in the company?   


David Iakobashvili: I will tell you what happened. In 2014, when I held 78 percent of the share, “Rosneft” emerged with 49 percent and my share was halved i.e. became 39 percent. However, I was still the chairman of the board of directors and participated in the management of the company.


“The Georgian Times”: Mr. David, you are considered to be behind “Petrokas” again...


David Iakobashvili:  No, it is not me. I have already left the board of directors. I am a citizen of Sweden and I quitted because the company is engaged in trade of Russian goods, so I should have to leave it. After that, it was planned to purchase 49 percent of the company by “Rosneft”, but it was bought by a new company created by Vano Nakaidze, and I learned about it through various mass media. Hence, given the mentioned situation, I am not an authorized person to take any part or take any kind of decision in the management of the company.


“The Georgian Times”: Why was “Rosneft's” share sold? Was it sold due to the imposition of sanctions on certain Russian companies after the commencement of the war?


David Iakobashvili:  Russia, as a subject of sanctions, and Russian company “Rosneft” had to withdraw, and therefore, the ties with “Rosneft” ended. 


“The Georgian Times”: Mr. David, as I remember, you made a statement earlier that you are no longer in charge of “Petrocas”. Why is your last name still voiced around the issue?


David Iakobashvili: I do not actually take part in the running and management of the company, and this has already been mentioned many times. Since the arrival of the ship, it has been mentioned for a couple of times that I had no information about the situation within the company, and I do not know anything about it now. Do you know why? Because I have no information what is happening in the company, what does the company do and so forth.


“The Georgian Times”: As I know that you have some misunderstandings with your partners at “Petrocas”. is that true?


David Iakobashvili:  Yes, there is a grain of truth in it, but I don't want to go into detail about it now and I don't want to talk about it. It's nothing... let's forget about it, my name emerges as if it's my company throughout the day and night, which is absurd and not true. Today, I assure you, what I am saying is the only truth about it! perhaps I will really do something and make some changes about it in the future, but today, I have neither rights nor responsibilities at “Petrocas”.


“The Georgian Times”: I understand. What business are you currently engaged in abroad?


David Iakobashvili: my son and I currently have a factory in Ventspils. We are engaged in PET Recycling, you probably know. This is a new, modern technology developed to do so today. I want to open 15 factories. A second factory is now opening in Vienna, then in New York.


“The Georgian Times”: Would you also open a factory in Georgia? Haven’t you thought about it before?


David Iakobashvili: I would like to do so, certainly, I would. My boys visited Tbilisi. Unfortunately, there is a problem with the raw material, there is no raw material. The most voluminous, large number of raw materials is in Turkey. Currently, recycling packaging is more expensive and valuable than primary demand products. I have good contacts with big companies. At “Pepsi”, “Coca-Cola” there is a long queue to get this product. The second thing we do is the so-called Fertilizer. This is a bacterium that replaces many chemical products and costs three times less, greatly helping business and agriculture.


“The Georgian Times”:  Won’t the investment be made in Georgia in this direction either?


David Iakobashvili:  Yes, we are looking for the ways to supply Georgia with this product because it is very useful for agriculture. As I told you, it costs three times less and is effective.


“The Georgian Times”: I deeply believe that, as a wealthy and experienced businessman, you often think about the types of investments to be make in Georgia... I hope it will be so in the future...


David Iakobashvili:  I am always eager and will be to serve my Georgia with kindness!!! Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to express my attitude and state my stance on this issue.

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