Trans-Atlantic Foreign Affairs Committee Chairs issue  joint statement on adoption of Transparency of Foreign Influence law
Trans-Atlantic Foreign Affairs Committee Chairs issue joint statement on adoption of Transparency of Foreign Influence law

The chairs of the foreign relations committees of the parliaments of the USA, the European Union and 14 European countries issue a joint statement regarding the adoption of the law “On transparency of foreign influence”.

“Today, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led the chairs of foreign affairs committees in the parliaments of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the European Union, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom in issuing a statement following the Georgian parliament’s adoption of a Russian-style foreign agent law, which requires organizations that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from international sources to register as an “organization serving the interests of a foreign power.”

Despite repeated expressions of concern from friends and allies, the Georgian parliament has taken an alarming and repressive step that undermines democracy and contradicts its stated goal of Western integration. As Euro-Atlantic legislators, we understand that a parliament’s role is to reflect the will of its people, and Georgians have unequivocally rejected this Kremlin-inspired law as incompatible with their identity, European values, and democratic principles. Simply put, this so-called ‘foreign agent’ law mirrors the policies of Vladimir Putin, who continues to illegally occupy 20 percent of Georgia’s territory.

Respected Georgian organizations such as Transparency International (TI Georgia), the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), and the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), are playing pivotal roles in Georgia’s path towards Euro-Atlantic integration. This law flies in the face of such worthy efforts and serves as a direct assault on civil society and independent media— elements fundamental to any democracy. The United States and Europe will continue to support them as their leadership and vision for Georgia exemplify true patriotism, in stark contrast to the 84 members of Parliament who aligned themselves with Russia in yesterday’s vote.

We will never abandon the Georgian people who have bravely displayed their steadfast commitment to democratic values through peaceful resistance, nor will we hesitate to hold accountable those responsible for enacting this Russian-style law and for the brutal targeting of nonviolent demonstrators, including by Bidzina Ivanishvili and his cronies. To the Georgian people, we declare: You are not alone.” notes the press release published on the website of the US Senate.