"A rude attempt to limit the independence and sovereignty of Georgia" is how the political council of Georgian Dream assesses the decision of the United States of America to impose visa sanctions on individuals responsible for and complicit in undermining Georgia's democracy, as well as their family members, and to initiate a "comprehensive review" of bilateral cooperation with Georgia.

“On behalf of United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the possible imposition of visa restrictions against representatives of the Georgian government was announced. This is a continuation of the anti-Georgian rhetoric we have been hearing since 2012, which intensified in 2021-2022. The policy of blackmail and threats against Georgia not only contradicts the spirit of strategic partnership but also the general spirit of partnership that should exist between two sovereign states.

The statement made on behalf of Anthony Blinken, along with the threat of visa restrictions, is nothing but a crude attempt to limit Georgia's independence and sovereignty. This is especially cynical given that Georgia is celebrating its national independence day in two days.

This is an unprecedented event in the history of world politics, where an official representative of one country threatens a lawmaker of another country with sanctions simply for voting for a transparency law. This event will be recorded in gray letters in the annals of world politics.

Let's not mention that, until now, no one has been able to present any argument against the law "On Transparency of Foreign Influence." Moreover, similar laws exist in a much stricter form in the United States, France, and many other countries, none of which have faced sanctions from the USA. Additionally, such a bill is actively discussed in the European Union. Furthermore, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that the law initiated in the European Union will be a leading line of her election campaign because foreign influences and interference are the biggest challenges for Europe today.

It should be noted that extending sanctions to family members, including minor children, is a form of sanction that Europe has strictly refused since the 1940s. Even the Soviet Union ceased using such measures since the 1960s. For decades, the civilized world has generally recognized that rejecting the so-called subjective impeachment principle, which involves extending sanctions to family members, is a fascist-Bolshevik phenomenon. It is astonishing that this form of sanction is now being employed by an official representative of the United States of America.

However, after relevant forces used the example of the terrorist attack on the Prime Minister of Slovakia in a conversation with the Prime Minister of Georgia, through one of the European Commissioners, thus blackmailing the highest officials of the Georgian government with the threat of losing their lives, the talk about the imposition of visa restrictions is neither unexpected nor surprising.

Let us also remind you that a few months ago, a similar visa restriction was imposed on Georgian judges on behalf of Blinken, without any justification or evidence. They cynically declared that they were not going to provide any facts and that we should investigate the issue ourselves. Despite the visa restrictions, the judicial system continues to function properly, and this decision did not affect the independence of the Georgian judiciary. Moreover, since then, the Strasbourg court has repeatedly confirmed that the Georgian court makes fair decisions and serves justice.

We also remind you that today, the top officials of the two EU candidate countries, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, have sanctions imposed by the USA. However, both countries continue the process of joining the EU, and there are no delays in this regard.

Finally, we want to clearly state once again that we are not going to trade the sovereignty and security of our country. No amount of blackmail can force us to take a step against our country. In such a situation, sanctions are only counterproductive and harm the sanctioner himself. Accordingly, we call on everyone to act pragmatically and take effective steps to improve relations, which are equally in the interests of both the Georgian and American people," reads the statement of the Political Council of Georgian Dream.

After the Georgian Dream approved the Russian Law on so-called Agents, the United States of America decided to adopt a new visa restriction policy for Georgia. This policy will be extended to persons responsible and complicit in undermining Georgia's democracy, as well as their family members. According to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, this includes individuals responsible for restricting civil society and freedom of peaceful assembly in Georgia through a campaign of violence and intimidation. Blinken also stated that anyone who undermines democratic processes or institutions in Georgia, including before, during, and after the October 2024 election, may be denied US visas or travel to the United States under this policy. Additionally, Blinken is launching a comprehensive review of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Georgia.

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