Varlam Cristavi was a member of Kombayn Nikoladze's cabinet, serving as one of his ministers. After the discovery that Kombayn Nikoladze was in the midst of an invasion of Azerbaijan by Sam Fisher, Nikoladze went into hiding (actually fleeing to Myanmar), leaving the presidential position left open. This space was soon filled by the CIA-backed Varlam Cristavi. Shortly after taking office, Cristavi vowed to bring "aid and reconciliation" to Azerbaijan.
In the first days of Cristavi's presidency, seven ministers of the Georgian government mysteriously vanished.
Cristavi is not mentioned again until the Presidential Palace mission, in which it becomes apparent that Cristavi has allowed Nikoladze to return to pick up The Ark, in exchange for a large sum of money. However, Cristavi also wants the Ark for himself, and plans to betray Nikoladze by killing Nikoladze's troops using Cristavi's "Georgian Elite". Cristavi cannot take the Ark himself because the Ark Vault is retinal-scanner locked, programmed to only open to the retinal scan of Nikoladze. This betrayal was planned to take place at midnight, directly after the Ark Vault had been opened.Fisher managed to force Nikoladze into opening the Ark Vault, but both were interrupted by Cristavi's Georgian Elite, who had already dispatched Nikoladze's men. A negotiation took place between the Georgian Elite and Nikoladze, in which it was revealed that Cristavi is fully aware of what the Ark really is; a SADM (Special Atomic Demolition Munition), set to be detonated in America. Nikoladze corrected this; the Ark was already in America, and the Ark Vault only contains the activation key - not the actual Ark. Nikoladze agrees to reveal the Ark's location to Cristavi if he guaranteed Nikoladze's safety and freedom.
The Georgian Elite escort Nikoladze to Cristavi's office, where the two gentlemen negotiate Nikoladze's terms. However, Fisher snipes at Nikoladze from the palace courtyard, killing him instantly. Cristavi flees the scene and the guards force him to take cover until Fisher is intercepted. Ultimately, Fisher escapes with the activation key, ending the Georgian Information Crisis for good. Official reports stated that Nikoladze was killed in a failed attempt to overthrow Cristavi as President.
Varlam Cristavi was still the President of Georgia as of 2006.
- Cristavi actually learned the true purpose of The Ark by capturing and interrogating one of Nikoladze's men. Sam Fisher recovers the recording of this interrogation during the Presidential Palace level. This recording was called "The Ark Interrogation Files", with the interrogation lasting up to 8 hours long.
- A news report on WNM confirms that Varlam Cristavi remains in office as the President of Georgia in 2006.