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Today, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eerik-Niiles Kross submitted a draft Statement for parliamentary proceedings in the Riigikogu on behalf of 44 members of the Riigikogu, condemning the anti-democratic steps taken by the government and the ruling party of Georgia, which call into question Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic course against the will of the clear majority of the Georgian people.

In the draft Statement, Members of the Riigikogu point out that despite widespread protests, calls from the EU and Georgia’s allies and a veto by the President of Georgia, on 28 May the Parliament of Georgia, with the votes of the ruling party Georgian Dream, passed the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, which is inspired by the Russian Federation’s so-called Foreign Agents Law that the Putin regime uses to repress civil society, the press and political opposition. According to the explanatory memorandum of the draft Statement, the EU, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and Georgian civil society have declared the law to be contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as it violates the principles of the rule of law, legality and proportionality, as well as non-discrimination.

In the draft Statement, the Riigikogu condemns the activities of the government and the parliamentary majority of Georgia in passing the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence and abandoning what had been agreed upon with the EU, and calls on the Parliament and government of Georgia to immediately repeal the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence. The Riigikogu also calls on the government of Georgia to stop using violence against demonstrators, civil society and opposition politicians, to carry out legal investigations in regard of the authorities and individuals who have used violence against peaceful protesters, to uphold its promise to promote the rule of law and protect human rights, and to implement the reforms that are demanded by the overwhelming majority of the citizens of Georgia and are a precondition for the accession to the EU.

Until the government and parliament of Georgia have not started to resolve the democratic crisis in a way that respects the rule of law and civil rights, have not returned to the reform and democratisation programme agreed upon with the EU, and have not repealed the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence, the Riigikogu considers it necessary for Estonia to block all further processes relating to Georgia’s accession in the EU, freeze development cooperation with Georgia’s state agencies and use the funds released to support Georgian civil society.

In the draft statement, the Riigikogu deems it necessary to impose government sanctions, including an entry ban into Estonia, on Bidzina Ivanishvili, members of the government of Georgia, the leaders of the Parliament of Georgia and the leadership and Parliamentary Group of the Georgian Dream party. The Parliament of Estonia also calls on imposing government sanctions on the representatives of the power and law enforcement agencies of Georgia who have been involved in the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations and the repression of Georgia’s opposition and civil society, and submitting the relevant list to the EU.

In the draft Statement, the Riigikogu expresses support to the freezing of the visa waiver agreement between Georgia and the EU until the Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence is repealed. “The Riigikogu expresses its respect to the brave Georgian people who stand for Georgia’s democratic and pro-European future,” the draft Statement says.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu will discuss the sending of the draft Statement to the plenary assembly for debate and vote on Tuesday.

Riigikogu Press Service
Karin Kangro
+372 631 6356, +372 520 0323
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]