HomeTop StoriesGeorgia erupts in anger as 'Russian law' is passed

Georgia erupts in anger as ‘Russian law’ is passed

What happened

Georgia’s parliament defied mass protests on Tuesday by passing a controversial “foreign influence” law, which critics call a Kremlin-inspired threat to democracy and the country’s aspirations to join the European Union.

Who said what

The so-called Russian law has “echoes of legislation” that Russian President Vladimir Putin pushed through in 2012 and is widely seen as a tool to silence critics, according to The Guardian. It requires media and non-governmental organizations to detail the significant foreign funding.

Now Georgia is “at the crossroads,” Politico said. In December, Brussels granted the former Soviet state EU candidate status, “raising the hopes” of 80% of Georgians who consistently tell pollsters they want their country to join the union. Still, “some fear Tbilisi is moving closer to Moscow” as the country pushes “draconian laws” that the EU warns are “incompatible with European values.”

What now?

President Salome Zourabichvili has vowed to veto the bill, but the ruling Georgia Dream party has enough votes in parliament to override its veto. The protests will continue “as long as necessary” to end this “existential threat” to Georgia’s survival, Natia Seskuria, a former Georgian national security official, told the BBC.

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