Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

BBC: Georgia president vetoes “Russian-style” foreign agent law

Georgia protests foreign agent law
Protesters hold a night sit-in on 13 May 2024 in front of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi ahead of the planned legal committee hearing on the “foreign agent” law. Photo: Guram Muradov, civil.ge
BBC: Georgia president vetoes “Russian-style” foreign agent law

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has vetoed a divisive “foreign agent” law that has sparked weeks of mass street protests, who said it would limit freedom of speech in the country and strengthen Russian influence, according to BBC.

This week, the Georgian parliament approved the foreign agent bill, which requires NGOs and independent media that receive more than 20% of their funding from foreign donors to register as organizations “bearing the interests of a foreign power.” Failure to do so would have resulted in fines. Georgian opponents of the bill dubbed it “the Russian law”, comparing it to legislation used to target critics of President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.

Salome Zourabichvili stated that the law is “fundamentally Russian in its essence and spirit” and poses an obstacle to Georgia’s EU membership aspirations. However, her veto is largely symbolic, as the prime minister’s Georgian Dream party holds enough seats in parliament to override it with another vote.

“This law cannot be subject to any change, improvement, and embellishment, and thus, it’s a very simple veto. This law must be withdrawn,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze has called on the protesters to select at least ten representatives to join a discussion with him on the controversial law, but it remains unclear if this move will be made to increase the support of the ruling party and the law itself.

Earlier, sources among EU officials revealed the EU’s intention to freeze Georgia’s accession bid if Tbilisi passes a controversial “foreign agents” law inspired by Russian legislation, although reversal remains possible.

FT: EU to freeze Georgia’s accession bid if it enacts Russian-style “foreign agents” bill

Georgia applied for EU membership in March 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In December 2023, the European Commission recommended accession talks for Ukraine and Moldova but only granted Georgia candidate status, conditional on it undertaking reforms ranging from fighting disinformation to improving human rights protections.

Read also:

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!