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Georgian Parliament signs law on foreign agents

Tbilisi, Jun 3 (Prensa Latina) The president of the Parliament of Georgia, Shalva Papuashvili, signed the law on foreign agents, which had already been approved, after President Salomé Zurabishvili refused to do so.

“I signed the important law on the transparency of foreign influence, and the document has already come into force,” Papuashvili said on Monday at a press conference held at the headquarters of Parliament.

The document requires non-governmental organizations, media outlets and other entities that receive at least 20 percent of their funds from abroad to register with the Ministry of Justice as an “organization of a foreign power” and declare their income annually.

According to Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobajidze, the regulations comply with basic legal principles, and their sole purpose is the annual publication of the finances of non-governmental organizations, media, and others.

On May 28th, the Georgian Parliament overcame the Georgian president’s veto of the controversial law on foreign agents by 84 votes to four.

Since May 2nd, upon learning of the possibility of the law being approved, the United States government warned Georgia that if the law were approved, Georgia would put its integration into the European Union at risk.

The European Union also threatened Georgia that its foreign agents law could affect its integration into the bloc, which according to Kobajidze is somewhat contradictory since similar laws exist in the United States, and some EU countries, such as France, are drafting similar law.