Moscow refers to 1938 US law as EU slams Georgian draft law
Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesperson accuses the EU of double standards, citing a US 1938 law in response to the EU's criticism of a similar draft law in Georgia.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday that the United States has had a law since 1938, mandating the registration of entities lobbying foreign interests, commenting on the European Union's criticism of a similar draft law in Georgia.
The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said earlier in the week that Georgia's controversial draft law on foreign agents was incompatible with EU values, contradicting the country's goal to join the European Union.
Anti government protests in Tbilisi, Georgia … The country is not joining the anti Russian coalition and introduces laws, to regulate foreign agents.— Lord Bebo (@MyLordBebo) March 7, 2023
-> Protests … we know the drill pic.twitter.com/xaDLnpD1ur
Zakharova wrote on Telegram that "it is now clear why the US is still not in the EU. There, this law [on foreign agents] has been in effect since 1938."
Georgia's parliament adopted a bill on Transparency of Foreign Influence on Tuesday, by a majority vote in the first reading in a 76-13 vote.
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A list of individuals and entities receiving foreign financing would be created under the law. This sparked widespread protests and concerns among the opposition, who are concerned that it will allow the government to suppress the work of non-governmental organizations and activists in the country. Meanwhile, the government maintains that this is intended to limit foreign meddling in Georgian politics.
Protesters in Tbilisi have reached the steps of the parliament building. Situation is derailing.— (((Tendar))) (@Tendar) March 7, 2023
Reason for the protest is a law which is a copy of the Russian “foreign agent” law and which is basically a wild card to discredit any opposition. #Georgia pic.twitter.com/nUWZ50JaMm
Following the announcement of voting results in Georgia's parliament on Tuesday, clashes erupted near the parliament building between special forces and demonstrators who had gathered earlier in the day to protest the bill, injuring several law enforcement officers and protesters.
The United States Foreign Agents Registration Act, enacted in 1938, requires any individual or entity who becomes an "agent of a foreign principal" to disclose their affiliations, related activities, and finances, with penalties for violations.
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