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Awareness

NGOs want to refuse to obey the law on foreign influence in Georgia

(Tbilisi) Nearly 200 Georgian NGOs announced Wednesday that they refused to obey the law on “foreign influence”, adopted the day before at the initiative of the ruling party, despite mass protests in this country. Caucasus.

“Russian law will not work in our country and will remain an empty sheet of paper that no one will obey,” the NGOs said in a joint statement.

The Georgian opposition believes that this text will serve to repress critics of power, as is the case in Russia with its law on “foreign agents”.

On Tuesday, deputies from the ruling Georgian Dream party definitively adopted this law by 84 votes in favor, circumventing the veto imposed by pro-Western President Salomé Zourabichvili.

The law requires NGOs or media receiving more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as an “organization pursuing the interests of a foreign power” and to submit to strict administrative control.

Several NGOs, including the Georgian branch of Transparency International, told AFP they expected their assets to be frozen and their work hampered after the law comes into force.

In their press release, the NGOs affirmed that this law “endangers the monitoring of the legislative elections” scheduled in Georgia in October.

“But we, other Georgian civil organizations, promise to defend the elections and the votes of every voter,” they stressed.

The head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell said on Tuesday that he “deeply regretted” the final adoption of the law, calling on this Caucasian country to “return firmly to the path of the EU”.

Washington, through the spokesperson for the State Department, also “condemned” a vote ignoring “the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Georgian people”.

Although Georgia has officially been a candidate for the EU since December 2023, and the “Georgian Dream” formally supports the constitutionally enshrined goal of one day joining the EU and NATO, this party, in power since 2012 , has increased the measures which, according to its detractors, bring the country closer to Moscow.

This article is originally published on .lapresse.ca

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