Politico spreads information that a draft law is ready to be submitted to the United States Congress that could threaten officials responsible for adopting the Russian Law on so-called Foreign Agents in Georgia with asset freezes and travel bans to the USA. Georgian News reported that Joe Wilson, a Republican congressman and member of the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the Helsinki Commission, intends to introduce a bill in response to the ongoing events in Georgia.

A document seen by Politico reveals that as part of efforts to "protect and secure democracy," the bill provides for sanctions against government officials and others who “have material responsibility for undermining or injuring democracy, human rights, or security in Georgia.” It will impose a visa ban on politicians and their families responsible for passing the "Russian-style foreign agents law."

The targets of the sanctions will be employees of Georgia's law enforcement and security services who prevented protests against the Foreign Agents law. Politico notes that authorities have used tear gas and water cannons against tens of thousands of people demonstrating in the streets, beating and arresting activists and opposition politicians.

As POLITICO writes, the draft law states that the Georgian Dream is increasingly resorting to a policy of reconciliation with the Russian Federation. Amid expanding ties with Russia and China, it is attacking the United States and other Western democracy-promoting organizations, as well as international civil society.

A person familiar with the process told POLITICO that Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina will introduce the bill today, May 20. It will require U.S. officials to provide Congress with information about "nodes of improper political influence, kleptocracy, and elite corruption in Georgia," in Georgia, as well as about Russian and Chinese intelligence agents operating in the country.

The Georgian Parliament adopted the Russian Law on so-called Foreign Agents in the third and final reading at the May 14 plenary session. 84 MPs supported it, while thirty opposed it. The authorities ignored warnings from international partners and the demands of continuous mass protests in the country to unconditionally withdraw the law.

The president vetoed the law, stating that it contradicts several articles of the Georgian constitution. However, Georgian Dream plans to override the veto during the session week of May 27.

Last week, during his visit to Tbilisi, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O'Brien warned the authorities that if the law comes into force without aligning with European norms, we will see restrictions from the U.S. In addition, according to O'Brien, the United States has about $390 million in aid planned for the Georgian government, which will also be called into question if the U.S. is now considered "an adversary, not a partner."

Georgian News
Georgian News
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