Domestic Reactions to Reintroduction of Draft Law on Foreign Agents

On April 3, the parliamentary majority leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Mamuka Mdinaradze, announced the reintroduction of the draft law on foreign agents, which the GD had to withdraw last year after the March 7-9 large rallies against the bill. According to Mdinaradze, the content of the bill remains the same, the only change is in the title: the word “agent” has been removed and replaced with “Organization Pursuing the Interests of a Foreign Power”. has compiled the reactions to the reintroduction of the Russian Law.

Parliamentary Majority

Gia Volski, GD MP, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament: “Why shouldn’t the public know that… any organization, be it non-governmental or television, media, if it receives more than 20% of its funding from abroad, why shouldn’t it make a declaration? What is the danger in that, what is un-European in that, and if they cannot explain it, it means that they are campaigning against European standards and want to demonize Europe”.

Davit Matikashvili, GD MP: “Neither the opposition, nor the NGO sector, nor their supporters inside and outside the country, whose numbers are too small to be able to propagate lies again, can step into the same river twice. It is a lie that this law is somehow Russian. There is no a single argument… to call this law Russian or to associate it in any way with the term Russian. A year ago our society lied to itself on the basis of complete lies and misinformation, perhaps part of the miscommunication on our part is also to blame for this, these people were deceived when they believed that the law… was somehow Russian.

Guram Macharashvili, People’s Power: “This branding of the law and the protest without reading it was and is their niche and standard… The European value is transparency, and imagine that they rallied people against the European value, pretending that it was a law with a different name. And in fact they misled the public, but they will not be able to succeed regarding other issues after that, because the public learned [it’s lesson]… The opposition and a large part of NGOs and their patrons are already openly fighting against Georgia, saying that transparency, which is a European value, is unacceptable in Georgia, while it happens to be acceptable in Europe. Of course, this is a double standard”.

Irakli Dachi Beraia, People’s Power: “Let’s start with the fact that this is not a Russian law and it has nothing to do with the Russian law. This is a lie and the imposition of a lie on the people. This is the law of transparency”.


Teona Akubardia, Parliamentary faction Reforms Group: “Georgian Dream” announced the final struggle against the declared interest of Georgia in becoming a member of the European Union and [against us-Georgian citizens] to be citizens of a democratic state. The announcement about the return of the Russian law, which has now been made by one of the leaders of the Georgian Dream, takes us back to the past. In this context, the decisive phase of the struggle is [about] what kind of a state we will live in, and we will continue the unrelenting struggle for Georgian democracy and the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia”.

Ana Natsvlishvili, Lelo for Georgia: “Georgian Dream” is losing, and like any evil power, it has decided to drag the whole country into its failure. This will not work. The Russian law was introduced in the first place in order to tie this country by chains to Russia, while you, we and all reasonable citizens of this country have very clearly made and stated our choice”.

Khatia Dekanoidze, parliamentary faction Euro-optimists: “I appeal to everyone, including women, who are the majority of the population of this country, young people, all people… who stood with us last March, we must all do everything together to not allow the Georgian Dream to take our country backwards”.

Ana Tsitlidze, United National Movement: “Ivanishvili’s party and the European integration of Georgia are incompatible. Ivanishvili’s party will do even more to damage the European course of this country and it is the duty of each of us to fight, like before, to the end to prevent this Russian law from being adopted by the Parliament”.

Giorgi Vashadze, Strategy Aghmashenebeli: “A direct, clear statement was made today by the Georgian Dream that it does not want [Georgia] to join the European Union. That’s it. It’s over. Period. There is really no other explanation for this initiative”.

Nika Gvaramia, Ahali: “This is a trap, the law is not being passed in a fast-track manner just because it is planned to be passed during the European Championship in June, so that people cannot protest”.

Giorgi Gakharia, For Georgia: Ruling Party of Georgia declares its intention of electoral manipulation by re-introduction of the Russian foreign agents law. The Government of Georgia intends to completely destroy trust in national and international election observation organizations and their donors to prepare grounds for the public recognition of manipulated results. It’s time to unite efforts to protect integrity of upcoming 2024 elections and Georgia-EU future!”

Anna Dolidze, For the People: “GD vowed today to reinstate the draft law that requires all recipients of foreign aid to declare themselves as agents of foreign interests. This is a move to destabilization, protests and further away from Europe”.

Zurab Girchi Japaridze, Girchi-More Freedom: “In my opinion, whether they succeed in passing this law or not, they are still achieving this goal. We see permanent attacks on Western foundations, which have not stopped, especially from [Speaker] Papuashvili’s side. In any case, they should be answered by the citizens of this country in the elections on October 26. This government must be replaced and a government that will implement the recommendations must come in [to power] this country…The streets and protest is the only way. I don’t know how much readiness there is now, but in any case we are already consulting with other parties and the civil sector”.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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