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Russian Embassy in UK Defends Agents’ Law, Accuses London of Hypocrisy

The Russian Embassy in the UK reacted to the UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps denunciation of the foreign agents law as a “Russian interference in Georgia,” saying his statements “border on the absurd” and defending the law by accusing the UK official of hypocrisy.

“One may wonder if the British politicians, who are trying to pressure Georgia in order to sustain influence there, remember that not so long ago they themselves took credit for enacting similar legislation on foreign agents at home, while declaring their staunch support for Britain’s national security? Such hypocrisy is indeed difficult to understand,” the Russian mission says in a statement published on May 15.

The Russian diplomatic mission claims that the British law “provides for the creation of a so-called foreign influence registration scheme. According to the legislation, Britons will be required to report on any arrangements with foreign countries that involve them exercising “influence” on local politics. Failure to do so will constitute a criminal offence.”

According to the Russian mission, the Defence Secretary’s remarks are “as an unscrupulous attempt by the British authorities to exploit the myth of the “Russian threat” purely in their interests. Unlike London and other Western capitals, our country is not in the habit of interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states.”

“We again call on the British officials to refrain from making irresponsible statements and to stop spreading anti-Russian propaganda and disinformation,” the statement concludes.

In his comment to Sky News on May 14 before the imminent adoption of the Foreign Agents Law in Georgia, the UK Defence Secretary said that “this is Russian interference in Georgia. Just in the same way as we have seen Russia, more aggressively of course, going to Ukraine. Putin cannot help but meddle sometimes militarily, sometimes through using influence, in other countries which is not good for this world, not good for freedom or democracy. And so, we do condemn this influence, and we very much encourage people to resist that influence from Russia. I think they should, because Putin has demonstrated, not least in Georgia, that he’s not good for the world, and good for his neighbors.”

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

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