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UWC stands in solidarity with the Georgian people as they struggle against increasing Russian influence

#UWC news
March 13,2023 630
UWC stands in solidarity with the Georgian people as they struggle against increasing Russian influence

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) expresses solidarity with the people of Georgia, who have recently taken to the streets to protest Russia’s increasing influence over Georgia’s freedom of speech and path towards Euro-Atlantic integration.    

The EU must take proactive measures to embrace the Georgian government from back-sliding into pro-Russian authoritarianism, like the Yanukovich government did in 2013/14.    

“The recent developments in Georgia pose a significant challenge for the Trans-Atlantic community and are an alarming signal of Moscow’s attempt to subvert Georgia’s European future and drive the country into Russia’s sphere of influence. We applaud the brave men and women fighting for Georgia’s democratic and European future in the streets of Tbilisi and throughout the country,” stated Paul Grod, UWC President.        

On March 6, 2023, despite an outcry from the Georgian civil society, human rights groups, and the country’s Western partners, Georgia’s ruling parliamentary coalition voted for a draft law, “On Transparency of Foreign Influence,” which requires the NGOs to register as “agents of foreign influence” or face heavy fines if the funds they receive from abroad amount to more than 20% of their total revenue.   

According to most Georgian and Western human rights activists, this draft law resembled similar laws used by Russia to stifle dissent and political opposition. In its respective statement, the EU warned that the law would be “incompatible with EU values and standards” and could have “serious repercussions” on the bloc’s relations with Georgia.    

On March 9, Georgia’s ruling coalition withdrew the controversial bill. However, the country’s pro-European opposition fears this might be only a political maneuver to buy time.   

 “The threat of Russkiy Mir looms over Georgia. We call on the EU institutions in Brussels to act immediately and without hesitation to help stop the growing Russian influence in Tbilisi and help save the country’s democracy and Euro-Atlantic trajectory. This is undoubtedly a part of Russia’s full-scale hybrid aggression against the EU and attempts to rebuild a Russian empire,” Grod added.    

 

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