Georgia’s law on “Transparency of Foreign Influence” and confronting the US

Georgia’s law on “Transparency of Foreign Influence” and confronting the US

The Georgian government has enacted the law of “Transparency of Foreign Influence”. The government asserts the law to be restricting foreign influence undermining the sovereignty of the state, while the opposition fiercely stands against it by claiming that the law would be a great harm to freedom of speech and democracy.

We conducted an interview with Shota Apkhaidze, Georgian political scientist and expert at the Financial University in Russian Federation on the reasons for the law, the confrontation between the US-Europe and Georgia and possible near future developments.

One-sided partnership of the US

The Georgian government is known to be close to the US. Is the law of “Transparency of Foreign Influence” a surprising move in this respect?

The United States officially declares that they are Georgia’s strategic partners, but in fact they are using our country. In fact, it turns out that the partnership is in a one-sided mode. Georgia actually turns out to be a vassal and in reality, this is an unequal partnership.

The Georgian leadership thought that the law of “Transparency of Foreign Influence” is in the interests of its citizens, in the interests of the security of our state. Americans pose the question in a very surprising way: If you want to be with us and with our partners, you must do everything that we tell you. Well, if the US tries to prohibit us from adopting such a law, then we absolutely do not need such a partner.

Of course, the fact that the leadership of Georgia very strongly defends the sovereignty of our country and adopted this law contrary to the interests of the US will affect American-Georgian relations. The US is now threatening us, together with the Anglo-Saxons, to disrupt absolutely all the relations.

There will be attempts to organize a “revolution”, a coup and the US will support the opposition and. But it doesn’t matter, the interests of Georgia are important.

For security of the state

Can you elaborate on the responses to the law from politics and society?

The majority of Georgian normal, reasonable politicians support this law. We need this law for security so that foreign organizations do not finance the opposition. It’s not clear that LGBT organizations do not finance extremism, which could completely destroy our country. The Georgian society has long been demanding such a law from the leadership of Georgia. The Georgians have long been tired, since the 1990s, of incomprehensible and mostly Western funding, which goes mainly to non-governmental organizations. This is likely to create serious problems in the future for the entire society and of the state.

The West depicts these Western funds as if it is only for the development of civil society, but in fact this is aimed at supporting destructive opposition, interference in the internal affairs of Georgia and financing of political activities and extremist activities, which undermines the security of our state.

Traditional culture and religion vs LGBT way of life

What can you say about the quantity, character and impact of the institutions in Georgia that are expected to be affected by the law?

This law will have a very positive impact on the development of civil society. Internal politics in a country should be decided without the intervention of another state. Georgia is a conservative country. We respect the traditions of our ancestors, we go to church. It’s not acceptable for us to live the LGBT-way-of-life. The West finances everything that is not compatible with our culture and religion. So, this law will limit everything imposed by the West and will reduce the influence of the West in our country.

Possibility of sanctions

Estonia, the Netherlands, Sweden and the Czech Republic want to open up a discussion on sanctions against Georgia. Do you think some sanctions on Georgia are possible?

I think it is possible that Europe and the US will impose sanctions on Georgia. They want to punish Georgia for its independent stance. Actually, they have already begun to introduce sanctions on some Georgian politicians they don’t like. But as I already said, the interests of our state are more important than the interests of the West, and sanctions won’t stop us.

Violation of international law

Foreign Ministers of Estonia, Iceland, Latvia and Lithuania joined protesters in the Georgian territory during their official visit to Georgia. What would you say about it?

They acted as the organizer of these demonstrations against the government and against, one might say, the Georgian state. I think it’s a rude violation of international law. They should be declared “persona non grata” so that they are not allowed into Georgia at all.

Is the government resolute on the law, or can we see any retreat?

I think the confrontation between the Georgian leadership and the West has reached a level that finding a mutual point seems impossible. The Georgian leadership defends its interests and will not retreat.

Şafak Erdem

Şafak Erdem was born in Istanbul in 1993. He completed primary and secondary school in Istanbul, then studied philosophy and sociology as an undergraduate at Boğaziçi University. He is currently doing a master's degree in philosophy.

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June 2024