TBILISI/MOSCOW, February 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian state-run lender Sberbank on Wednesday rejected claims by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili that it had bought out Georgian Liberty Bank.
“Sberbank has identified Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan as priority areas for its development in the territory of the former USSR. Therefore, Sberbank has no plans to buy assets in Georgia,” a Sberbank spokesman said.
Saakashvili said late on Tuesday that Russia was allegedly buying out Georgian banks, including Liberty Bank, one of the country’s largest.
Saakashvili also alleged two more Russian banks, namely Alfa-Bank and Gazprombank, were considering acquiring other Georgian banks.
Liberty Bank's Director General Lado Gurgenidze later denied his bank had been purchased by Sberbank.
“I want to point out that the information is not true. We have had no talks with the Russian bank, either in the past, or at the moment,” Gurgenidze wrote in his Facebook account.