NewsU.S. offers Georgia support if anti-western stance dropped

U.S. offers Georgia support if anti-western stance dropped

Protests in Georgia
Protests in Georgia
Images source: © Getty Images | Yaraslau Mikheyeu

2:02 PM EDT, May 21, 2024

The United States is ready to provide economic and military support to Georgia. However, this support is conditional on Tbilisi refraining from an anti-Western foreign policy. According to Politico, citing Congressman Joe Wilson, a special bill is expected to be presented in the U.S. Congress.

The United States wants to encourage the Georgian government to withdraw its plans to adopt a controversial bill on so-called foreign agents. A significant portion of Georgian society and many experts consider the Kremlin to be the inspiration for the Bill.

Wilson revealed in an interview with Politico that if this condition is met and the Georgian authorities guarantee free and fair elections in the country, the U.S. could begin talks on providing substantial trade preferences and military assistance, as well as offering visa liberalization for Georgian citizens.

The congressman representing South Carolina in the House of Representatives added that the United States could provide Georgia with weapons and military equipment "ideally suited for defending its territory against potential Russian aggression." U.S. support would also include Georgian participation in training and maintenance of the donated equipment.

U.S. warns the Tibilisi government

Politico reported that the proposed U.S. bill also plans to impose individual sanctions on politicians from the ruling Georgian Dream party and other government officials involved in adopting the foreign agents bill.

Earlier, the White House and the U.S. State Department warned the government in Tbilisi that pushing through the unpopular bill could lead to Washington imposing restrictions on Georgia and force the United States to "fundamentally realign" its relations with the country, Politico recalled.

For over a month, there have been mass protests in Georgia against the foreign agents bill. Critics argue that it will allow the authorities to destroy civil society and introduce an authoritarian model of governance in the Russian style. They claim that, in practice, this will also mean a return to the Russian sphere of influence, as it is already evident that the bill's adoption is causing an unprecedented crisis in Tbilisi's relations with the West.

"Register of foreign influence agents"

The Georgian authorities argue they are solely interested in "transparency and protecting sovereignty." They call their critics the "global war party" and accused "external forces" of organizing the protests.

The new law stipulates that legal entities and media receiving more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad must register and report and are required to register as foreign influence agents.

On Saturday, President Salome Zourabichvili vetoed the bill. However, the ruling party has enough votes to override the presidential veto.

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