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BREAKING: US State Department Implements First Tranche of Sanctions against Georgian Individuals

The U.S. State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, announced at today’s press briefing that the U.S. has sanctioned “dozens ” of Georgian individuals in its first tranche of sanctions.

In his statement he said: “The US remains deeply concerned with Georgian Dream party’s antidemocratic actions, as well as its recent statements and rhetoric. These actions risk derailing Georgia’s European future and run counter to the Georgian Constitution and the wishes of its people.”

Referring to the comprehensive review of relations with Georgia announced by the State Secretary Blinken, he said that “the State Department implemented a new visa restriction policy under section 211 A 3C of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Today, under this policy we are taking steps to impose visa restrictions on dozens of Georgian individuals. This includes individuals responsible for or complicit in, or immediate family members of those responsible for or complicit in, undermining democracy in Georgia, such as undermining the freedom of peaceful assembly and association, violently attacking peaceful protesters, intimidating civil society representatives, and deliberately spreading disinformation at the direction of the Georgian government.”

According to Matthew Miller the first tranche of visa restrictions “comprises of Members of the Georgian Dream party, members of Parliament, law enforcement and private citizens.”

He noted: “It remains our hope that Georgia’s leaders will reconsider their actions and take steps to move forward with their nations’ long stated democratic and Europe -Atlantic aspirations. But if they do not, the U.S. is prepared to take additional actions.”

Answering to questions the State Department Spokesperson clarified that the number of the sanctioned individuals is between two to three dozens. Asked whether they have been notified, he said that those who have US visa will receive notifications, in other cases “we typically don’t notify people but they find out if they try to come to the US.”

When asked how many tranches are to be expected, Miller said he cannot say, adding: “We are prepared to impose additional sanctions and will take all other steps as appropriate.”

Asked what message the US is trying to send by sanctioning in several tranches, Miller said: “There is still time for the Georgian government to reverse a trajectory that it’s on”, noting that it applies to the recently adopted Agents’ law,  but also “to the way they have been cracking down on dissent, it applies to statements their leaders have made, and rejecting the path that Georgia has been on for so long.” He concluded by saying: “Our policy depends on the policy that Georgia undertakes.”


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