Domestic Reactions to U.S. Announcement on Visa Restrictions, Anticipated Sanctions

On May 23, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a policy of visa restrictions on those undermining democracy in Georgia and a comprehensive review of all U.S.-Georgia cooperation.

On the same day, U.S. senators introduced a bill in the US Senate that envisages a series of measures in response to the Georgian government’s recent acts and policies, including sanctions on Georgian officials, a review of foreign assistance, and a reassessment of the existing bilateral relations.

This comes just days before the Georgian parliament votes on a presidential veto of the Foreign Agents Law.

We have compiled initial reactions to Secretary Blinken’s announcement and expected U.S. sanctions against Georgian officials from across the domestic political spectrum:

Ruling Majority:

Mamuka Mdinaradze, Parliamentary Majority Leader: “The U.S. Secretary of State announced sanctions because of our support for a law which is way more lenient than the one of their country…The [U.S.] policy of blackmail and threats continues to prevent Georgia from making independent decisions based on its own interests. Despite spending hundreds of millions, the agents are so weak that they can only rely on the actions of the foreign actors…”

Nino Tsilosani, Deputy Parliament Speaker, GD MP: “In short, if the question is: give up the country’s interests or face sanctions, the answer is clear – I am proud to serve my country.”

Shota Khabareli, GD MP: “This [U.S. statement] will probably be written in black letters in history – sanctions are imposed on Georgia for adopting the law on transparency… Everyone will see that we were on the right path.”

Irakli Medzmariashvili, GD MP: “We will override the [President’s] veto [on foreign agents’ law] and answer all your questions after that… What family members [is U.S. threatening to sanction]?! It is just me and my spouse. Whatever happens, happens. What should I be scared of?!”

Irma Zavradashvili, GD MP: “Throughout the history of Georgia, people went as far as to have sacrificed themselves for the sake of the country’s reunification and well-being. So we can bear some sanctions. My family and the families of all the leaders of the Georgian Dream are ready to sacrifice everything for the well-being of this country… let them [U.S.] impose sanctions, and then we can talk.”

Ketevan Charkviani, GD MP: “It will be the Georgian people, not a representative of any other country, who will decide on the October 26 [Parliamentary] elections whether we are the ones who undermine democracy or [are in fact] strengthening sovereignty with the Transparency law. As a reminder, according to all surveys, the Georgian Dream has the growing support of the vast majority of the public! We will bear as a badge of distinction any sanction received for being in the service of Georgia and Georgians.”


Nika Melia, Ahali: “This is just the first act of support for the Georgian people from the United States of America. There will be more acts of support soon.”

Giorgi Gakharia, For Georgia: “It’s regrettable that we have come to such a detrimental point in our relationship with the major strategic partners. Ivanishvili and GD deliberately undermine Georgia’s relationship with its strategic partners, leading the country to international isolation. Ivanishvili’s regime is in confrontation with the Georgian people, dismantling the hard-earned achievements of our state since regaining independence. The perpetrators will be individually held accountable for their attempts to destroy Georgia’s democracy and its European future. We are confident that our friends will stand with the Georgian people in its fight against the imminent threat of authoritarianism, isolation, and limitation of sovereignty.”

Khatia Dekanoidze, parliamentary faction Euro-Optimists: “I would like to humbly advise them once again not to drag themselves down [to hell] alongside this insane oligarch [Bidzina Ivanishvili] and not to put their family members in a difficult situation, this is an eternal stain on our country and its international reputation.”

Ana Natsvlishvili, Lelo for Georgia: “By imposing sanctions against senior [Georgian] officials, the U.S. confirmed that it remains a reliable partner of the Georgian people and that it supports the aspirations of Georgian citizens for democracy and Euro-Atlantic goals, the objective enshrined in the Constitution. And those who betray the Constitution and the will of the Georgian people, those who are hostile to the friendship and partnership between the United States and Georgia will face individual sanctions”.

Levan Khabeishvili, United National Movement: “…Georgia is in an ordeal. Ivanishvili has signed off on Georgia’s fall into the abyss and is taking our children’s future down with him… I want to thank the U.S. for supporting the Georgian people. Victory over evil has never been so close – our force is in unity”.

More to Follow…

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


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