Pro-Russian Georgian authorities furious over European Parliament's anti-'foreign agents' resolution

Kakha Kaladze
Kakha Kaladze

The Secretary General of Geogria's ruling Georgian Dream party, Kakha Kaladze, is fuming after the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning his party's law on "foreign agents", Georgia Online reported.

"With a shameful resolution, the members of the European Parliament also call on us to abandon the law on transparency,” Kaladze claimed at a briefing.

“They want black money to secretly flow into our country, which can be then used for destructive actions against us. It is a paradox, but the deputies who supported the resolution stand on the side of opacity, darkness – taking into account the fact that in the near future the European Union will adopt a much tougher law on foreign financing."

Kaladze struck a combative tone, accusing European parliamentarians of double standards.

"They sent us a signal with this resolution that we are not allowed to do what they themselves are doing."

He claimed that the resolution "provoked" the actions of the "radical opposition", which shortly after its publication "lined up one after the other in front of the cameras, trying to deceive people that the visa-free regime is being canceled for us".

The process for visa liberalization and eventual abolishment - an issue crucial to the majority of Georgians - requires the consent of all 27 member states of the European Union, he said.

"There are still ‘healthy political forces’ in European bureaucracy that will not give us the impetus to make this 'shameful step'," Kaladze claimed.

The European Parliament earlier urged the EU to hold off on membership negotiations with Georgia because of the "foreign agents" bill.

In its resolution, European MPs condemned the re-introduction of Georgia's ‘on transparency of foreign influence’ or "foreign agents" bill to parliament, emphasizing that it does not correspond to EU values, contradicts Georgia's ambitions to join the bloc, harms the country's reputation, and endangers its Euro-Atlantic integration.

Read also: ‘Will never be tolerated’ – Georgians will not allow a pro-Russian government – Georgian President

The "foreign agents" bill and protests in Georgia

A wave of mass protests has broken out in Georgia since April 9, after Mamuka Mdinaradze, the leader of Georgian Dream parliamentary majority, announced that his party would re-submit a bill on "foreign agents" to parliament.

Security forces began to disperse demonstrators in Tbilisi on April 16.

The Georgian Parliament adopted the draft bill in the first reading on April 17. Georgia President Salomé Zourabichvili promised to veto the legislation.

The "foreign agents" law is supposed to protect Georgia from "Ukrainization", Georgia’s Prime Minister Iraklii Kobakhidze said on April 18.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry dismissed the accusations, saying that Georgia should be worried about 'Russification' - the real threat to Georgia, not 'mystical Ukrainianization'.  Using Ukraine in such a derogatory context "causes additional damage to Ukrainian-Georgian relations", Ukraine's Foreign Ministry added.

It would become possible to cancel or rewrite the scandalous law on "foreign agents" if the country is ready to become an EU member, Georgia's ruling party leader said on April 20.

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