Law passed in Georgia 'step in wrong direction,' says NATO spokesperson

A woman holds a Georgian national and an EU flags in front of riot police blocking a street  (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze)
A woman holds a Georgian national and an EU flags in front of riot police blocking a street (AP Photo/Zurab Tsertsvadze) Copyright Zurab Tsertsvadze/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Zurab Tsertsvadze/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP & EBU
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The law requires media and NGOs to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad.

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The new "Russian law" that passed in Georgia is a step in the wrong direction, a NATO spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“The Georgian government’s decision to pass legislation on so-called ‘foreign agents’ is a step in the wrong direction,” said NATO spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah, and added that it took Georgia “further away from European and Euro-Atlantic integration.”

The law requires media and NGOs to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad.

Opponents of the bill, who have dubbed it the "Russian law" because of similar legislation enacted by the Kremlin, say it undermines democracy and could derail the country’s chances of joining the EU.

Georgia has been an official candidate country since December last year, and support for membership among the population is high, with the National Democratic Institute putting it at 81%.

Protests against the bill have been ongoing for weeks. On Tuesday night, protesters blocked the main highway in Tbilisi after some clashed with riot police outside parliament earlier in the day.

Opposition to the law also exists outside Georgia — with the White House saying it was “deeply troubled” and the UK, Germany, Italy and France urging Georgia to withdraw the law.

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