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EU Ambassador: EU to Check Whether Visa Liberalization Conditions Still Apply to Georgia

In an interview with the Movement media outlet, EU Ambassador to Georgia Paweł Herczyński said that the EU will consider “all options” that can be introduced towards Georgia as a result of the adoption of the foreign agents law, including the suspension of visa liberalization.

“We need to check if in view of the [Law on] Transparency of foreign influence, those conditions still apply to Georgia,” Ambassador Herczyński said, noting that a simple majority of votes, and not all EU members’ votes, is required for the EU to suspend the visa-free regime for Georgia for six months, adding: “I am sure that it will be one of the options and member states will have to decide.”

He expressed his concern that if this will be the case, ordinary citizens of Georgia will be affected and will have to pay a very heavy price, adding that he personally does not think that this is the goal of the EU, although he concluded: “At the end, the decision will be reached by member states in the coming weeks.”

Asked whether the EU’s financial assistance to Georgia would be modified after the adoption of the foreign agents law, the EU Ambassador said that this is also one of the options the European Union could take “to limit or to divert or to refocus the financial support that has been provided to Georgia for many years,” adding that this amounts to a total of 100 million euros annually.

In the interview, Ambassador Herczyński also discussed the EU enlargement process, recent EU-Georgia relations, the GD conspiracy related to the so-called “Global War Party,” and the infamous foreign agents law.

He said that “the big wave of EU enlargement is imminent,” and regretted that “finally, when the EU doors have been opened to Georgia, what we see is hesitation, second thoughts, confusion,” expressing his hope that Georgia will take advantage of the current accelerated EU enlargement policy.

Reiterating multiple times that the foreign agents law is incompatible with the EU norms and values, the EU Ambassador also said: “For the moment, we have very serious issues in EU-Georgia relationship.” He also lamented Georgia’s lack of progress in implementing the nine key steps set by the European Commission for the country to move to the next step of opening accession negotiations with the EU.

When asked again about the Foreign Agents law and its incompatibility with Western values, the EU Ambassador cited the legal analysis of the law by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR, saying that the legislation pushed by the GD does not resemble any Western laws.

In addition, when asked about the GD “Global War Party”-related narrative, Ambassador Herczyński named Russia as the only such power. “Russia is trying to rebuild the Soviet Union, the Russian empire by using force,” he said.

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

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