The Georgian President, Salome Zourabichvili, assessed the adoption of the Russian Law on so-called Foreign Agents as an attempt to divert the country from its European path. She announced this at a press conference held after meeting with the foreign ministers of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Iceland.

"Today, we discussed the seriousness of the decision made yesterday by 84 people. It highlights that the government did not listen to the voice of its people, the advice of its friends, or anyone's warnings, and instead chose to go its own way. This is an attempt to divert Georgia, which stood firmly on the path after receiving candidate status and awaiting the start of accession negotiations, away from this crucial road and back to the past. This is an attempt to which the Georgian people and society responded with 30 days of almost daily speeches and statements expressing their position. This proves that the numbers we discussed, indicating that 80 or 85 percent of our society supports a European future, were not just numbers. This is the reality we see on our streets every day, and we can all be proud of it," said the President.

Salome Zourabichvili stated that the ongoing protest in the streets of Tbilisi is proof that Georgian society truly stands for European values. "Democracy, freedom, and what Georgia has always fought for independence. This society, with these values and this attitude, will never succumb to Russian pressure," the president said.

The issue of the veto was also discussed at the meeting. Salome Zourabichvili stated that she explained "very clearly" to the representatives of friendly countries that by vetoing the Russian Law, she will not engage in "fake, artificial, deceitful negotiations."

"No and never! Because I will not betray the spirit that is in this country today and that needs to pave the way forward. I will be the one to open this path, not someone who diverts from it. Our friends will convey this message wherever necessary, so no one thinks that the Georgian President can be used to save the face of this government. This issue does not arise today. Today, the issue at stake is saving Georgia.

For this, I introduced our friends to the future plans for the European platform, which I have been working on for several weeks. This platform has been developed, and I will officially present it to our population. It includes a set of decisions that will bring Georgia to the elections in a united and mobilized manner, returning the country to its rightful path through these elections.

Our immediate future is mobilization for elections and a peaceful path, where we will undoubtedly win together, leading Georgia towards peace and the European path.

Thanks to our friends, who have been with us since the first day of Georgia's independence, who practically help us every day, and who gave us the opportunity to achieve association, followed by visa liberalization and candidate status. I am sure and confident that they will stand by our side as we return to our path," said the president.

Georgian Dream reintroduced the Russian Law on so-called Foreign Agents, which had been withdrawn from parliament last year, on April 3, 2024, and passed it through all three readings in six weeks. The bill was supported by 84 MPs from Georgian Dream, People's Power, and European Socialists.

The Russian Law, which designates independent media and NGOs as Foreign Agents, has been condemned by all of Georgia's Western partners as incompatible with European norms and values, and unsuitable for a country that seeks to join the EU and NATO.

Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze stated that from May 14 to 28, during the veto procedure, it is possible to reconcile positions regarding the law if "specific legal notes" are presented.

If the law fails to comply with EU norms, US sanctions are expected.

Georgian News
Georgian News
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