By adopting law on ‘Transparency of Foreign Influence’, Georgia does not deviate from European path: Garibashvili

Irakli Garibashvili, the Chair of the Georgian Dream party, on Saturday said he hoped to have “less misunderstanding” with the country’s “strategic partners and friends” on the controversial domestic bill on transparency of foreign influence.
Garibashvil’s remarks followed a letter, sent by the bipartisan group of the United States senators to Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze on Friday stating that the adoption of the controversial domestic bill on transparency of foreign influence would force the US to encourage changes in US policy toward Georgia, which could include sanctions against individuals responsible for hindering Georgia’s democratic development or limiting its Euro-Atlantic development trajectory.
If there is any ambiguity, any misunderstanding, these questions should be discussed behind closed doors”, the GD Chair noted in his comments to the media.
“I have said many times, we highly value the relationship we have with our main strategic partner – the US, [but] at the same time, our country is still facing big challenges, unfortunately. The main challenge is [Russian] occupation”, he added.
Garibashvili highlighted the necessity to continue the dialogue and communication with the country’s partners to “convince American and European friends” that by adopting the transparency bill, “Georgia is not deviating from the European integration path”.
He called the statements about the Georgian Government’s alleged “intentions to change” the foreign policy course “baseless”, and noted the country’s European aspirations were “guaranteed by the Constitution”.
The transparency bill, which calls for the registration of non-commercial legal entities and media outlets in the country as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they derive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad, has sparked public protests and criticism from some of Georgia’s international partners.