“The question, I think comes back to the difference between the Kremlin-inspired law and American law,” said US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan responding to the question about the documents published by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on lobbyist activities in ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s case.
According to Kelly Degnan, the “Kremlin-inspired law that was rejected by Georgia in March targeted Georgian NGOs and civil societies that are working for the benefit of Georgia,” while the American law is “focused on law firms and lobbyists that are hired by a foreigner to work on behalf of that foreigner.”
It’s a very important distinction. I think we see the impact of the Russian-style law, which drove out NGOs and civil society that were doing good work in Russia. Now, most of them have had to close down or flee. And that was the focus of the Georgian law that was rejected in March.
Again, I will say there is a lot of transparency already available through Georgian law and regulations. The information about what donors and NGOs are doing here is readily available, it’s online if anybody really wants to look for it. I don’t think this is about transparency that is already readily available here in Georgia,” she said.
On July 20, the U.S. Department of Justice published another document on the activities of ex-president Saakashvili’s lobbyists.