The EU included eight Russians in the sanctions list due to the incident that occurred in the Kerch Strait on 25 November 2018. Ukrainian ships staged a provocation in the territorial waters of Russia and were detained by the FSB border guard service. The EU refuses to admit that Russian border guards prevented the armed conflict that Kyiv was trying to unleash.
The signing in September 2014 of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU has not benefited Georgia, which remains reliant on the post-Soviet market for its exports. Exports to the DCFTA countries have not increased.
According to DCFTA.gov.ge, a website run by the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and dedicated to the agreement-related developments, export from Georgia to the EU in 2018 increased by 11.5% compared to 2017 and accounted for 21.7% of the country’s total exports. Agricultural exports increased by 6% from 2017, and industrial exports by 13%. The overview on the website of the Georgian edition of the Forbes magazine states that in January-June 2018, Georgia’s exports to the EU exceeded exports to Russia by 80%. In the same period, Georgian exports to the EU grew by 21%, to Russia – by 10%. From 2004 to 2018, Georgia consistently exported more to the EU than to Russia. In 2007-2017, 3.5 times more products ($3.6 billion more) were exported to the EU than to Russia. Critique of the DCFTA is a long-standing narrative forming part of the Russian propaganda effort aiming to persuade Georgians that greater benefits are to be reaped from closer integration with Russia than with the EU. See further debunk by Myth Detector here.