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Georgian Politicians on U.S. State and Foreign Operations Funding Bill

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Georgian politicians have assessed the Fiscal Year 2021 State and Foreign Operations Funding bill approved by the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on July 6. The bill, which also refers to Georgia, notes that 15% of the funds made available for assistance for the Government of Georgia may be withheld unless Georgia fulfills certain conditions.

Civil.ge offers mixed assessments from the governing party and opposition politicians.

The Georgian Dream Party

Gia Volski, First Vice-Speaker, Georgian Dream: “The opposition perceives the bill as a victory. While we are working on NATO integration and cooperation with the U.S., our opponents are working on how to harm our country so that the assistance and political support for Georgia are reduced. There is a group of congressmen, who developed the bill and it now should be discussed by various committees and then endorsed by Congress; this is, however, not going to happen. ”

Kakha Kuchava, Vice-Speaker, Georgian Dream: “The Congress has not frozen anything; neither has it adopted any document or made any amendments to this document. This is a lie and disinformation. I very much regret that the opposition tries to build its election campaign on such lies and disinformation. It is a deliberate disinformation campaign through which they are trying to mislead the population.”

Opposition

Salome Samadashvili, the United National Movement: “The Congress is taking an unprecedented step today, as, through the support of both parties, it will impose sanctions against Bidzina Ivanishvili’s regime. It happens because of the unprecedented scales of corruption in the country that made it impossible to bring their [U.S.] assistance to [the Georgian] people.”

Giga Bokeria, European Georgia: “Since Georgia gained independence, the United States has been its friend in all settings. It assisted our security and democracy; but when they see that the Georgian government enters a deadlock and fundamentally opposes the principles and pragmatic interests of our friend, such things happen. We have already witnessed an identical situation in 2003 during the presidency of Shevardnadze [Georgia’s second President, editorial note].”

Tamar Chugoshvili, independent lawmaker: “[The bill] actually means that Georgia will be subject to certain sanctions. The share of funds subject to withholding is not a big amount, but it creates a precedent. It is a precedent that the U.S. will reduce the funding allocated to Georgia, because the latter does not meet its commitments, does not build a fair court, does not fight against corruption, and so on.”

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