Parliament Vice Speaker says bill on transparency will “help prevent external interference”, including possible Russian attempts

11.04.24 17:00

Archil Talakvadze, the Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, on Thursday said the controversial domestic bill on transparency of foreign influence would “prevent any external interference”, including possible attempts originating from Russia.


The draft law, retracted last year after public protests but now reintroduced by the ruling party, calls for registration of non-commercial legal entities and media outlets in the country as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they derive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.


In his remarks over the matter, Talakvadze called on critics of the draft law to “name at least one clause that repeats the content of a similar Russian legislation”, after a part of the domestic opposition and non-governmental sector branded the initiative a “Russian law”.


He also cited a public opinion poll in the European Union showing eight out of 10 citizens “think and express their concern that foreign influence in their countries and in the EU is a problem”.


“When eight out of 10 EU citizens say foreign influence and interference in their democracy is a problem and call on their leaders to act, what does it mean? On whose behalf are our opponents talking to us? Our bill helps to prevent any external interference, including possible Russian interference”, the lawmaker said.


He further added the Georgian legislation applied to “everyone who could potentially interfere in Georgia's democracy”.



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