Blinken Warns of US Response to Georgia’s Controversial “Foreign Agents” Bill

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a warning on Wednesday, stating that the United States will “take action” against a contentious bill recently adopted by Georgia’s parliament, which has sparked mass protests.

During his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the State Department’s 2025 budget request, Blinken expressed “very concerned” about the “foreign agents” bill, describing it as being “right out of Moscow’s playbook.”

“We are looking very hard at what we can do in response to that, and I anticipate we will take actions. The EU is looking at the impact on the accession process for Georgia,” Blinken said, noting that the bill contradicts the Georgian people’s aspirations to join the EU.

The bill mandates that organizations, including media outlets, receiving more than 20% of their funding from abroad must register with the state and publish annual financial reports. Initially introduced in March 2023, the bill was shelved after it led to mass protests, resulting in 66 arrests and injuries to more than 50 law enforcement officers. However, it was reintroduced in parliament early last month.

Critics argue that the bill undermines democracy, dubbing it a “Russian law,” while supporters from the ruling majority claim it would enhance transparency.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili vetoed the bill on Saturday, following its passage in parliament amid ongoing protests. Despite the veto, the ruling Georgian Dream party can override it with 76 votes, allowing the parliament speaker to sign the bill into law.–News Desk