Two United States’ Congressmen Ted Poe and Gerald Connolly introduced a bipartisan resolution in the House of Representatives on June 26, reasserting the U.S.’ support for Georgia’s sovereignty and condemning “the forceful and illegal Russian invasion of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.”
The draft resolution, titled as the Georgia Support Act, calls for increased security assistance to Georgia “to enhance Georgia’s deterrence, resilience, and self-defense, including through appropriate assistance to improve the capabilities of Georgia’s armed forces,” and urges to “make progress toward negotiations with the Government of Georgia to enter a bilateral free trade agreement with Georgia.”
The document also authorizes the U.S. President to impose visa and financial restrictions on individuals “complicit in or responsible for serious human rights abuses” in the two occupied regions, and requires the State Secretary “to develop a strategy to improve Georgia’s capabilities to combat Russian disinformation and propaganda campaigns.”
According to Congressman Ted Poe, the proposed bill demonstrates the United States’ “total support for Georgia.” “The United States does not support the Russian’s taking ⅓ of the territory of Georgia,” the Congressman said.
Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, who is on an official visit to the U.S. on June 26-28, met with Congressmen Poe and Connolly today and thanked them for introducing the bill. Kobakhidze said this is a “historic document,” which he hoped would be endorsed by the Congress.
Giorgi Abashishvili, Head of President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s administration, commented on the resolution as well. “The Georgia Support Act is an extremely important and a historic document,” he said, adding that the resolution was initiated by President Margvelashvili during his visit to Washington D.C. in March, 2018.
The draft resolution comes six days after a group of eight U.S. Congressmen introduced a bipartisan resolution regarding Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, reaffirming the U.S. support to three countries’ efforts “to retain political sovereignty and territorial integrity.”