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US imposes sanctions against representatives of Georgia's ruling party

Mikhail LevakinWorld
US imposes sanctions on Georgia's ruling party. Source: Screenshot

The United States has officially announced the introduction of visa sanctions against Georgian parliamentarians from the ruling Georgian Dream party. Similar sanctions have also been imposed on law enforcement officials. The sanctions were announced because of "oppression of democracy in the country."

This was stated by US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. He clarified that the sanctions were imposed due to the adoption of the law "on transparency of foreign influence", the reaction of law enforcement agencies to peaceful protests, as well as "intimidation of society" and "disinformation at the direction of the Georgian government".

Miller emphasized that sanctions against specific individuals are only the first step. The State Department spokesman expressed hope that the Georgian leadership would change course. Otherwise, he said, the United States is ready to conduct a "complete review of relations with the Georgian government."

The State Department spokesman refused to specify against whom the sanctions were imposed.

"I cannot give you specific names. Visa records are confidential under the law. But, as I said, we have added to the sanctions a list of people who have taken steps to spread disinformation, to undermine democracy, to violently attack peaceful protesters, to intimidate civil society at the direction of the Georgian government," Miller said.

The State Department spokesman added that "the United States is ready not only to impose additional sanctions but also to take all other appropriate steps."

"There is still time for the Georgian government to change the trajectory it is on. This concerns not only this law. It concerns the practice of suppressing dissent in general. This also applies to the statements of Georgian leaders who are now rejecting the path that Georgia has been following for so long. So they still have time to change the situation. And our policy will depend on the policy pursued by Georgia," Miller said.

As reported, on May 14, the Georgian parliament passed the draft law on "foreign agents" in the third reading. Before the vote, MPs fought and protesters gathered near the parliament building once again.

On May 18, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili vetoed the bill. However, the parliament overrode the veto, and on June 3, the speaker of the Georgian parliament signed the law on "foreign agents".

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