UWC supports Georgian people’s resistance to Kremlin’s influence

#UWC news
April 19,2024 254
UWC supports Georgian people’s resistance to Kremlin’s influence

The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) expresses its full support to the people of Georgia, who have taken to the streets to protest against the Georgian parliament’s attempt to adopt a controversial “foreign agents” bill. 

We also call on the European Union to use all means possible to support the Georgian people and the country’s President Salome Zourabichvili, who intends to veto the bill despite heavy pressure from Georgia’s ruling party. 

On April 17, 2024, the anti-democratic legislation, which requires media and non-commercial organizations to register as “foreign agents” (the term suggesting as if such entities are being “under foreign influence”) if they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad, was passed by lawmakers from the ruling Georgian Dream party in the first reading despite massive street protests. Opposition MPs boycotted the vote. 

The draft legislation has been heavily criticized by the Georgian democratic opposition, civil society, human rights groups, and the West, including the EU and the US. In his recent statement, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell described the Georgian parliament’s move as “a very concerning development” and stressed that the bill was inconsistent with the country’s EU aspirations and with EU norms and values.

The “foreign agents” bill, labeled by the protesters as the ‘Russian law,’ resembles similar laws used by Russia to crack down on dissent and political opposition. If the parliament of Georgia fully adopts this bill into law, it will align the country with Russia and its allied pariah states, such as Belarus. It will also have a negative impact on Georgia’s EU integration path. 

The recent developments in Georgia pose a significant challenge for the Trans-Atlantic community, raise concerns about Russia’s increasing influence over the Georgian government, and are an alarming signal of Moscow’s attempt to subvert Georgia’s European future. In their recent statements, a number of Putin regime’s representatives supported the Georgian “foreign agents” bill and blamed the West for “attempts to organize a coup” against the government in Tbilisi. 

The EU institutions in Brussels must act immediately and without hesitation to support the people of Georgia and help stop Russia’s hybrid attack against Europe’s unity and democratic future. 

A democratic and free Georgia is crucial for the security of the Trans-Atlantic community, the EU, and Ukraine.

Cover: AP