Thursday morning the government of Georgia announced it was “unconditionally” and “without any reservations” withdrawing the proposed legislation on foreign funding registration that has the country, Europe, and America up in outrage.
“We see that the adopted draft law has caused differences of opinion in the society,” the ruling coalition spearheaded by the Georgian Dream party, said in a statement. “As the emotional background subsides, we will better explain to the public what the bill was for and why it was important to ensure transparency of foreign influence in our country”.
However the protests in the capital, which turned violent on Wednesday, were announced to continue Thursday despite news mid-morning that the bill was to be withdrawn.
“Processes will not stop until Georgia takes a guaranteed pro-Western course”, said Tsotne Koberidze, member of the Tbilisi City Council. “We need clarity on how they intend to withdraw this law because their statements are vague”.
Maybe it’s something in the translation, but “unconditionally” and “without any reservations” seem pretty translucent.
The proposed legislation would require organizations that derive more than 20% of their funding from foreign governments to report that information to a public registry, the same way as in the US. This doesn’t prevent them from operating but only serves to increase funding transparency, something which happens to be the best in the world in the Georgian government.
The news that a “Russian Law” or “Russian-style Law” was on the docket in Georgia made global headlines, but neither BBC nor Al Jazeera explained what was Russian about it other than the fact it was “similar” to a law that passed in Russia some years ago.
However, nearly all nations on earth have some sort of foreign funding or foreign agent registration act, and the Georgian Dream party said they modeled theirs closely on America’s Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA).
On Tuesday WaL published a feature on the discontent in Georgia as the makings of a US-backed color revolution, or coup d’etat. In the country, the collected enemies of Russia across the West have a unique opportunity to fulfill Joe Biden, Nat. Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Defense Sect. Lloyd Austin’s stated policy to “see Russia weakened” and “isolated”.
The opportunity lies in the fact that almost all of Georgian civil society and political grassroots are organized and funded by United States and Eurocrat endowments, which all support the release of the 2008 President of Georgia from prison who took his country to war against Russia in the breakaway conflict of South Ossetia.