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Global Legislators Condemn 'Foreign Agents' Law, Express Solidarity with Georgian Democracy

By Liza Mchedlidze
Thursday, May 16, 2024
The US Senator Ben Cardin and chairs of foreign affairs committees from various countries issued a joint statement condemning Georgia's adoption of a Russian-style 'Foreign Agents' law. They expressed deep concern, noting that this law undermines democracy and Georgia's goal of Western integration. The U.S. Senator and Foreign Ministers emphasized that the law mirrors Vladimir Putin's policies and directly targets civil society and independent media, crucial components of democracy.

They reaffirmed their support for Georgian organisations promoting Euro-Atlantic integration and condemned parliamentarians who aligned with Russia. Emphasizing their commitment to holding accountable those responsible for enacting the "Russian-style" law and for targeting nonviolent demonstrators, the U.S Senator and Foreign Ministers assured the Georgian people of unwavering solidarity in their fight for democratic values.

"Despite repeated expressions of concern from friends and allies, the Georgian parliament has taken an alarming and repressive step that undermines democracy and contradicts its stated goal of Western integration. As Euro-Atlantic legislators, we understand that a parliament's role is to reflect the will of its people, and Georgians have unequivocally rejected this Kremlin-inspired law as incompatible with their identity, European values, and democratic principles. Simply put, this so-called 'foreign agent' law mirrors the policies of Vladimir Putin, who continues to illegally occupy 20 percent of Georgia's territory.

"Respected Georgian organizations such as Transparency International (TI Georgia), the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), and the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association (GYLA), are playing pivotal roles in Georgia's path towards Euro-Atlantic integration. This law flies in the face of such worthy efforts and serves as a direct assault on civil society and independent media - elements fundamental to any democracy. The United States and Europe will continue to support them as their leadership and vision for Georgia exemplify true patriotism, in stark contrast to the 84 members of Parliament who aligned themselves with Russia in yesterday's vote.

"We will never abandon the Georgian people who have bravely displayed their steadfast commitment to democratic values through peaceful resistance, nor will we hesitate to hold accountable those responsible for enacting this Russian-style law and for the brutal targeting of nonviolent demonstrators, including by Bidzina Ivanishvili and his cronies. To the Georgian people, we declare: You are not alone," the statement reads.