Giorgi Ramishvili is a Georgian businessman who controls the Silk Road Group - a business conglomerate based in the Republic of Georgia.
Donald Trump signed a licensing deal with the President of Georgia in March of 2011 that would put his name on two proposed towers – the Trump Riviera Batumi and Trump Tower Tbilisi. Development of the $300 million deal was led by Giorgi Ramishvili, a Georgian businessman whose Silk Road Group was one of the largest companies in the region. Trump made no promises to invest his own money in the project, but stood to earn a licensing fee for the use of his name and would have managed the buildings if they ever opened. Neither building was ever completed.
It is not presently known how much money Trump was paid to put his name on the Georgian real estate projects. Giorgi Ramishvili claimed in 2016 that Trump had been paid when the agreement was first signed. Trump’s lawyer refused to explain how much Trump had received, telling a reporter that “the terms of the agreement are propriety and confidential.”  Trump’s financial disclosures reveal that he owns and controls two companies that may have been set up to receive licensing fees from Georgia. The two companies – Trump Marks Batumi LLC and Trump Marks Batumi Member Corp – have no disclosed income, assets or value.
Local reports claimed that Trump’s project had been canceled after the election, but Trump’s business partner denied them. The project nevertheless languished. A scheduled ground-breaking in 2013 never happened. Following Trump’s win of the 2016 US Presidential Election, the Silk Road Group announced construction of Trump Riviera Batumi would resume. The Trump Organization and Silk Road Group canceled the development in January of 2017, shortly before Trump’s inauguration.
Foreign press outlets have reported allegations that Ramishvili was a former member of a paramilitary group known as the "Mkhedrioni."
Footnotes and Citations
“In a ceremony with caviar and wine at Trump Tower in Manhattan on Thursday, Mr. Trump signed a deal to develop the two tallest towers in the republic of Georgia, the former Soviet state at the nexus of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Giving his blessing to the deal was Mikheil Saakashvili, the flamboyant, English-speaking president of Georgia. (‘’New York Times’’, March 11, 2011)”“Any actual construction, if it begins as scheduled in 2013, would be overseen by Giorgi Ramishvili, chairman of the Silk Road Group, one of the largest private investment companies in the south Caucasus region. The deal, which the partners estimate at $300 million, calls for two projects. The Trump Tower Tbilisi would go up on Rose Revolution Square in Georgia's capital. The Trump Riviera would be part of a planned Silk Road complex that includes a casino, an exhibition hall and a marina, in the resort city of Batumi on the Black Sea, near Turkey. (New York Times, March 11, 2011)”“In Georgia, Mr. Trump will license his name, and his company will manage the two properties. He will also work with Silk Road to line up financing for the projects and market the towers. Mr. Trump said that so far he had no plans to put his own cash into the deal. (New York Times, March 11, 2011)”“Donald Trump’s company pulled out of a proposed $250-million tower project in the Georgian Black Sea resort town of Batumi, the latest effort by the U.S. president-elect to defuse charges that his global businesses will cause conflicts of interest once he enters the White House. […] The Trump Tower in Batumi was widely assumed to have been shelved when Saakashvili lost power in 2013 and was later stripped of his Georgian citizenship. But Giorgi Ramishvili, Silk Road’s founder, said a month ago that it was still on track. (‘’Bloomberg News’’, January 4, 2017)”“Trump's business ambitions have extended throughout the former Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc. [...] He spent three days in Georgia in 2011 to announce another project in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi. It has not been built, but a project official, Giorgi Rtskhiladze, told The Post that Trump was paid a fee for the use of his name when the agreement was signed. (‘’Washington Post’’, June 17, 2016)”“Cohen would not elaborate on the nature of the relationship between Silk Road and the Trump Organization. When asked if Trump had invested any of his own money in the Batumi high rise, he responded that "The terms of the agreement are propriety and confidential." (‘’The Atlantic’’, August 28, 2012)”“"Silk Road Group" had spread a statement today, saying "recently various media call "Trump Tower" among those governmental projects, which may be canceled by the new government". However, the company stresses, Batumi "Trump Tower" is not the state, but the private project, being implemented by "Silk Road Group" on the base of license agreement with Donald Trump. General plan and a draft for the "Trump Tower" project are already finished, the company said. Besides, so-called "model house" is installed on the territory, aiming to facilitate the sales process after development of the detailed design. (Sarke Daily News, October 12, 2012)”“Days after Donald Trump's election victory, a news agency in the former Soviet republic of Georgia reported that a long-stalled plan for a Trump-branded tower in a seaside Georgian resort town was now back on track. [...] Once scheduled to break ground in 2013, however, the project was halted by an economic downturn, a local land planning dispute and, some analysts said, the electoral defeat of then-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, a personal friend of Trump's who had championed the deal. In recent months, long-standing roadblocks to the project's groundbreaking resolved without government assistance, said Giorgi Rtskhiladze, a U.S.-based partner working with the local developer, the Silk Road Group, which paid Trump a licensing fee to put his name on the building. Rtskhiladze said the developers informed the Trump Organization in September or October that the project could now proceed. After Trump was elected, he said he emailed a congratulatory note to Trump's adult children and to a top Trump Organization executive - and reiterated that developers are prepared to move forward. He said Trump executives have indicated the project is being "reevaluated," as they discuss how his company will be operated after Trump takes office. "We're ready," Rtskhiladze said. "We're waiting for them to give us the green light." (Washington Post, November 25, 2016)”“Donald Trump’s company pulled out of a proposed $250-million tower project in the Georgian Black Sea resort town of Batumi, the latest effort by the U.S. president-elect to defuse charges that his global businesses will cause conflicts of interest once he enters the White House. The Trump Organization and its local partner in Georgia, the Silk Road Group, said in a joint e-mailed statement that they’ve decided “to formally end the development of Trump Tower, Batumi.” The project, a 47-story residential condominium, was announced in 2012 by Trump and then-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Silk Road said it will go ahead on its own with a luxury tower in the town, once dubbed the Monte Carlo of the Caucasus by Trump. [...] The Trump Tower in Batumi was widely assumed to have been shelved when Saakashvili lost power in 2013 and was later stripped of his Georgian citizenship. But Giorgi Ramishvili, Silk Road’s founder, said a month ago that it was still on track. Ramishvili, contacted by phone today, didn’t elaborate on why it’s been abandoned now, and also declined to comment on whether he’ll be attending Trump’s inauguration. (Bloomberg News, January 4, 2017)”“The newspaper reports that Kazakh side files a suit against the former manager of "BTA Bank", who has stolen several millions of dollars from the bank and hides since that. Businessman with criminal past, known as "Zarala" (Giorgi Ramishvili), has assisted the manager in this situation, the article says. Ramishvili's name is linked to "Silk Road Group", which was founded in 1998. The group includes "SilkNet, Wissol Petroleum Georgia", "Radisson" (Tbilisi and Batumi), "BTA Bank", investment company "DS" (hotel complexes in Ajara and residential complex "Sakanela" in Tbilisi). As the article notes, Ramishvili is a former member of "Mkhedrioni" (paramilitary group in early 1990-is) and under the previous government, he was patronized by Nika Rurua (former minister of Culture and Monument Protection), who was also "Mkhedrioni" member in its time. (Sarke Press Monitor, September 4, 2013”