Kelly Degnan, the United States ambassador to Georgia, on Friday said the “people of Georgia, especially students and young people, spoke loud and clear, and the ruling party finally listened”, following the authorities move on Thursday to withdraw the controversial foreign agents bill and ahead of its official rejection on Friday. In the state legislature.
The diplomat once again cited the bill - that envisaged the registration of domestic NGOs and media organizations as foreign agents if they received more than 20 percent of their funding abroad - a “ Kremlin-inspired and not necessary in Georgia”.
“Georgia does not need these laws. There are already ample protections and transparency to ensure that all of the financial assistance flowing into Georgia is being used for Georgia's best interests, and to help Georgians who are working hard to improve their communities all over this country. That's what foreign assistance has been doing in Georgia for 30 years”, Degnan said.
She stressed the people of Georgia “now want to see their government fulfill its pledge to achieve European Union candidate status. I hope that all of the energy and attention will go towards this. This is a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of every single Georgian, and it's the people of Georgia who are holding the government accountable to that pledge to achieve candidate status”.
The bloc is expected to decide on the country’s membership candidate status later this year.