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The political party Georgian Dream warns the US government to cease its "blackmail" tactics aimed at repealing the Foreign Agents Registration Act

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Georgia's ruling party, Georgian Dream, warns the Biden administration to cease its "insulting blackmail" against the government led by Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze. This warning comes after reports emerged of a bill in the U.S. Congress that links a significant economic package for Tbilisi to the repeal of the foreign agents law.

The political outlet reported that Washington is considering approving a package of economic and military assistance to Tbilisi, which also includes liberalizing the visa regime, on the condition that the country repeals the law and implements measures to strengthen democracy.

Likewise, the media outlet reported that this week the US Congress will likely debate a bill imposing travel restrictions on members of the Georgian Dream in retaliation for the passage of the legislation, as it is seen as a reflection of similar laws in Russia.

"The improvement of relations between Georgia and the United States depends on fair actions by the US side. This requires showing respect for the Georgian state and people instead of making promises with more than ambiguous prospects and resorting to insulting blackmail," the ruling party said in a statement.

It was also recalled that the Georgian government is "not playing games." "We passed the NGO transparency law because we see no other way to pacify the country," the text adds.

Georgian Dream further added that "continuously using the same negative attitude" against the country could "jeopardize the interests of both Georgia and the United States." "This law is not a bargaining chip, but an effective means of defending Georgia's sovereignty," it stressed.

Likewise, the party's general secretary, Kaja Kaladze, insisted that if the United States wants to negotiate visa liberalization, as well as a free trade agreement, they are open to it. "They must take concrete steps," he said

The US State Department's Under Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, James O'Brien, last week warned Tbilisi that they would impose restrictions on the country if it continues to be "out of line" with European values.

The foreign agents law requires organizations, media outlets, and similar entities that receive at least 20% of their funding from abroad to register as "agents defending the interests of foreign forces." Failure to register will result in substantial fines.

Guest: Director of the Laboratory of Politics and International Relations at the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of Icesi University in Cali, Colombia.

Journalist: Jairo Currea

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