Georgia Pushes Controversial "Russian Law" Despite Western Concerns and Domestic Protests

The Georgian government is proceeding with the controversial "On Transparency of Foreign Influence" bill, despite widespread domestic protests and criticism from Western nations. The bill, commonly referred to in Georgia as the "Russian law," is in its final stages of approval in the Georgian parliament.

In a show of solidarity with Georgian protestors, who have been demonstrating against the bill for over a month, the heads of the foreign relations committees from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Estonia visited Tbilisi. Michael Roth, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the German Bundestag, stated that the visit was meant to support the Georgian public's demand to withdraw the contentious bill.

During their stay, the European delegation met with opposition members of the Georgian Parliament at the EU Delegation office in Tbilisi to discuss the implications of the proposed legislation. However, Shalva Papuashvili, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, declined to meet with the visiting officials, suggesting their presence could incite "radical actions" among the opposition.

The bill, sponsored by the ruling party led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, has faced intense scrutiny both domestically and internationally. Critics, including British Foreign Minister David Cameron, argue that it resembles laws adopted in authoritarian regimes, which aim to suppress civil society by restricting the operations of non-governmental organizations and foreign entities. Cameron, in an interview with Sky News, labeled the legislation a part of a "global problem" and explicitly supported the Georgian populace in their opposition.

"Many countries are passing similar laws, attempting to restrict civil society and speaking out against any foreign non-governmental and charitable organizations that they do not control," Cameron said.

As the bill advances through its final reading, the scale of protests continues to grow, signaling a deepening divide between the government and the people it serves.

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