U.S. Warns Georgia Over 'Kremlin-Inspired' Law Amid Fears of Moscow Alignment

Jim O'Brien, a U.S. official, suggested potential withdrawal of U.S. support and criticized the Georgian government for its anti-western rhetoric. As unrest grew, police and protesters clashed, highlighting deep national divisions & international concerns over Georgia's democratic trajectory & alignment with the West.

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Bijay Laxmi
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U.S. Warns Georgia Over 'Kremlin-Inspired' Law Amid Mass Protests

The United States has issued a stern warning to Georgia, cautioning the former Soviet republic against aligning with Russia by passing a controversial "foreign agents" law that has sparked mass protests across the country.

In a tense standoff, the Georgian parliament defied widespread public opposition and approved the legislation on Tuesday, prompting concerns from Washington that the move could signify a "turning point" in the nation's troubled history.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jim O'Brien expressed fears that the passage of the bill, which echoes similar legislation in Russia, could jeopardize the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Georgia. He suggested that billions of dollars in U.S. funding for Georgia's economy and military could be reconsidered if the country is perceived as an "adversary" rather than a partner.

"All that has to be under review if we are now regarded as an adversary and not a partner," O'Brien told reporters in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

Why This Matters: The tensions between Georgia and the U.S. over the "foreign agents" law highlight the ongoing struggle for influence between the West and Russia in the former Soviet republics. The law's passage has raised concerns about Georgia's commitment to democratic values and its aspirations to join the European Union, potentially signaling a shift toward Moscow's orbit. The U.S. has invested heavily in Georgia's development since the fall of the Soviet Union, and any potential realignment could have significant geopolitical implications in the region.

Key Takeaways:

  • The U.S. has warned Georgia against aligning with Russia by passing a "Kremlin-inspired" law that could undermine democracy.
  • The controversial "foreign agents" law requires media and civil society groups receiving foreign funding to register as serving foreign interests.
  • U.S. officials suggested that billions of dollars in aid to Georgia could be at risk if the law is implemented.
  • Massive protests have erupted in Tbilisi, with clashes between riot police and demonstrators demanding the law's withdrawal.
  • The tensions highlight the ongoing struggle for influence between the West and Russia in the former Soviet republics.

Usa Protests georgia