Responding to Russian Refugee Influx: Implications for Small State


  • Kornely Kakachia Professor, Tbilisi State University


Russian Refugee Influx:, small state, Georgia


The influx of Russian migrants after Russian full-fledged invasion of Ukraine has presentedGeorgia with a complex array of challenges and opportunities. Georgia has emerged as a securehaven and an economic destination for Russians, leading to a mix of positive economic gains andsocietal disparities. Consequently, this influx has introduced a new set of security concerns forthe nation, prompting a pragmatic assessment by both the government and the populace. Thegovernment's approach is driven by a desire to secure electoral support, leveraging the argumentthat the surge in Russian migration has bolstered economic collaboration with Russia, therebyfostering economic growth and stability. Conversely, the general population's outlook is markedby a sense of ambivalence. On one hand, there is apprehension about the implications of Russianmigration on economic ties with Russia, while on the other hand, there is resistance due to theadverse effects on daily life, including heightened prices, intensified competition in the labormarket, and an augmented sense of insecurity. According to statistical data, the initial economicwindfall from Russian migration appears to be a one-time occurrence, with limited potential forsimilar growth in subsequent years, as projected by economists. Furthermore, the inflow ofRussian migrants has deepened Georgia's economic reliance on Russia, potentially exposing thenation to risks associated with Russia's strategic influence over Georgia's critical infrastructure.This growing dependency could lead to significant long-term disadvantages, both economicallyand in terms of national security.