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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tbilisi Mulls Ruble Zone

Georgia, which has undergone virtual economic collapse in the last year, may soon be forced to re-enter the ruble zone, the republic's former prime minister said on Wednesday. Tengiz Sigua told a press conference in Moscow that Georgia's gross national product had fallen to 15 percent of its 1987 level. "The economic situation can be characterized in one word -- catastrophic," he said. The coupon, introduced in Georgia last year as a preliminary currency, has crashed in value against the ruble and inflation is rampant. Sigua said that Georgia would probably re-apply to join the ruble zone "although it practically doesn't exist" and would do so in "either the Belarussian or Tajik variant." "In order to put the economy back on its feet we have to attract Western investment but in the existing political circumstances that's not real of course," he said.