Accessibility links

Breaking News

Georgian Opposition Tycoon Denied Naturalized Citizenship

Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili
Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili
Georgia has turned down a request from billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili to have his Georgian citizenship reinstated through naturalization.

Ivanishvili's Georgian citizenship had previously been revoked on the grounds that he had taken on French citizenship.

He was stripped of his citizenship after he voiced plans in October 2011 to form an opposition party to challenge President Mikheil Saakashvili's allies in parliamentary elections.

Georgia's Justice Ministry says Ivanishvili can now only seek dual citizenship.

Last month, a bank owned by Ivanishvili was fined $500,000 for an alleged scheme to illegally fund his campaign group.

Saakashvili's allies have accused Ivanishvili of having loyalties to Russia, which fought a brief war against Georgia in 2008.

Ivanishvili reportedly made his fortune in Russia.

Based on reporting by GHN and AFP

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.