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Helsinki Commission Leadership Issues Statement on 'Foreign Agent' Bill

By Liza Mchedlidze
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
The US Helsinki Commission issued a statement regarding the 'Foreign Agent' bill initiated in the Parliament of Georgia, expressing great concern that this law is an attack on the strategic partnership and the Western choice of the Georgian people.

The commission said that if the draft law is adopted, it will emphasize the rapid decline of Georgian democracy.

The Helsinki Commission calls the bill initiated by the deputies who formally left the Georgian dream anti-democratic.

"WASHINGTON-In response to news that the Georgian parliament is considering Russian-style foreign agent legislation, which would have a chilling effect on Georgia's vibrant civil society, Helsinki Commission Chairman Representative Joe Wilson (SC-2), Co-Chairman Senator Ben Cardin (MD), Ranking Member Representative Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Ranking Member Senator Roger Wicker (MS) issued the following joint statement:

Since regaining independence, the Georgian people have clearly and consistently chosen to be part of the democratic, Euro-Atlantic community. However, the antidemocratic, Russian-style foreign agent law would be, if enacted, a rebuke to the Georgian people's EU and NATO aspirations and underscore the rapid decline of Georgian democracy. It would also demonstrate the present government's increasing embrace of Russia-the same country that occupies 20 percent of Georgian territory, kidnaps its citizens, disregards its sovereignty, and wages a genocidal war against Ukraine.

"This bill as well as the ongoing democratic decline, including the jailing of political opponents, is an attack on our strategic partnership and the Georgian people's Western choice. Since 1991, the United States has been a firm and untiring friend to the Georgian people. This will not change, regardless of the government's position. In the spirit of that friendship, we call on the Georgian government to reject the proposed legislation and renew its commitment to democracy," the statement reads.