U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-ID), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), ranking member and chair of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, as well as Ron Johnson (R-WI) on April 22 introduced a bipartisan resolution, urging Georgian parties elected to Parliament to “fully implement” the compromise proposal put forward by European Council President Charles Michel.
The Senators call on all MPs “to take their seats in parliament,” and begin working “on the challenges facing Georgia, including consequences of the COVID–19 pandemic, a weakened economy, and challenging regional dynamics.”
Regarding the judicial reforms envisaged by the April 19 agreement, the Senators urge the Georgian government to “institute systemic reforms” through “an inclusive and transparent consultation process with stakeholders,” as well as by implementing the recommendations of the Venice Commission and other experts, to ensure the impartiality and independence of the judicial system.
Similarly, the resolution calls on the Georgian authorities to “institute inclusively and transparently developed systemic electoral reforms,” including by adopting the OSCE/ODIHR’s recommendations, which are to “address the underlying causes” of the political crisis and avoid its recurrence.
The Senate resolution also recognizes that “the political situation in Georgia has been exacerbated” due to Moscow’s efforts “to sow chaos throughout Georgia, including the illegally occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”
It also expresses concern that “impediments to strengthening Georgia’s democratic institutions and processes will slow its progress toward achieving its aspiration of Euro-Atlantic integration and strengthening its economy and could result in conditions placed on U.S. assistance to Georgia.”
The Senate resolution emphasizes that the U.S. “supports a more robust democracy in Georgia, with government institutions that demonstrate integrity, checks and balances, transparency, the capacity to counter Russian and other malign influence, and the ability to achieve the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the people of Georgia.”
“We know that the political fate of Georgia has far-reaching consequences for the state of democracy in the region and around the world,” said Senator Shaheen, adding that the “resolution reflects our commitment to Georgia and its transatlantic aspirations.”
Stressing that there is “much work left to be done in order to rebuild political trust,” Senator Risch said “prompt implementation” of the April 19 agreement would mark “another significant step toward resolving the political crisis,” and “can put Georgia back on its Euro-Atlantic trajectory.”
Welcoming the agreement which “will provide greater transparency, checks and balances, and political participation,” Senator Johnson noted “it is imperative that Georgians work together to fully implement” the EU compromise proposal.
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