Georgia: “Russian law” is “a step in the wrong direction” according to NATO

Georgia: “Russian law” is “a step in the wrong direction” according to NATO
Georgia: “Russian law” is “a step in the wrong direction” according to NATO

The vote on this law on foreign influence is, according to NATO, an obstacle to the country’s future membership in the EU and the Atlantic Alliance.

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Twenty-four hours after Parliament adopted at third reading the highly controversial law on foreign influence, dubbed “Russian law” by many of its opponents, the NATO spokesperson declared that the decision was “a step in the wrong direction.”

Same clear message from the Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, for whom this law will only have negative effects on Georgia’s path to EU membership.

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These statements come 24 hours after fairly violent demonstrations in the streets of Tbilisi, during which riot police confronted a compact and angry crowd right in front of the Georgian Parliament building.

Rallies against the bill have been going on for weeks in Georgia. Protesters blocked Tbilisi’s main highway after some of them clashed with riot police outside Parliament just after the law was passed on Tuesday.

A dozen demonstrators were arrested “after disobeying police orders”, according to the Interior Ministry.

A law targeting the media and NGOs

The law called “Russian law” by its detractors, because it is largely inspired by a similar text in Russia, mainly targets the media, blogs and NGOs. As soon as it is promulgated, it will force the latter which are partly financed by foreign funds to declare themselves as “organizations pursuing the interests of a foreign power”.

The government, for its part, assures that it will simply provide more transparency on the nature of the funding of these organizations.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has warned that she will veto it, but the ruling Georgian Dream party says it has a sufficient majority to override it.

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