POLITICO: US to consider major military, trade package to Georgia if anti-democratic drift reversed

World 09:00 21.05.2024

Washington could sign off on a sweeping package of economic and security support for Georgia if its government abandons its increasingly anti-Western rhetoric and stops backsliding on human rights, Ednews informs via POLITICO.

Under the terms of a draft bill to be introduced in Congress this week by South Carolina Republican Congressman Joe Wilson and seen by POLITICO, the US would start talks with the South Caucasus country to open “a robust preferential trade regime,” provided key political criteria were met.

Along with improved access to American markets, the bill calls for liberalization of the visa regime for Georgian citizens.

It would also mandate officials to develop a military support package for Georgia including the “provision of security and defense equipment ideally suited for territorial defense against Russian aggression and concomitant training, maintenance, and operations support elements.”

However, the program would only be activated if the US confirms that “Georgia has shown significant and sustained progress towards reinvigorating its democracy, evidenced at minimum by substantially fair and free elections and a balanced pre-election environment.”

As previously reported by POLITICO, Wilson’s bill would introduce individual sanctions on politicians from the ruling Georgian Dream party as well as other government officials if they implement their proposed Russian-style “foreign agent” bill. The legislation, which is waiting for a final vote in parliament next week before being passed into law, would brand Western-funded NGOs, media outlets and campaign groups as foreign agents, which critics say would be used to silence and delegitimize criticism of the government.

Wilson serves as chair of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, an independent U.S. government agency that monitors freedom and democracy across the continent. His “MEGOBARI Act” bill (Mobilizing and Enhancing Georgia’s Options for Building Accountability, Resilience, and Independence Act) mirrors warnings from other leaders in Washington.

Assistant US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien has warned that if Georgia passes the foreign agent bill “we will see restrictions coming from the United States” that affect the finances and travel of those behind it. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, meanwhile, said if the foreign agent legislation is implemented, that would “compel us to fundamentally reassess our relationship with Georgia.”

Tens of thousands of Georgians have taken to the streets in recent weeks to protest the plans, which the EU has said would effectively end the country’s hopes of joining the bloc — just six months after it was granted candidate status. Riot police have used water cannon, tear gas and batons to disperse demonstrators, and swooped in violently to detain activists.

Georgia borders on Russia; since a 2008 war between the two, Moscow and its local partners have occupied around 20 percent of the country’s territory.

Khamenei's military adviser: "Iran can respond to the US across the seas" - VIDEO

News line

Gaza Health Ministry: Death toll rises to 37,296
Gaza Health Ministry: Death toll rises to 37,296
20:00 15.06.2024
13 Armenian opposition party members arrested amid political turmoil
19:05 15.06.2024
Zelensky meets with Swiss president at peace summit
18:26 15.06.2024
President of BRISD and Global Climate Youth Leader Nawab Commends Azerbaijan’s Leadership at UNFCCC SB60 in Bonn
President of BRISD and Global Climate Youth Leader Nawab Commends Azerbaijan’s Leadership at UNFCCC SB60 in Bonn
18:22 15.06.2024
Sweden says Russian military jet violated airspace
Sweden says Russian military jet violated airspace
17:40 15.06.2024
France, Germany and Britain condemn Iran's steps to expand nuclear program
17:08 15.06.2024
Russia must be represented in future Ukraine conferences, says Scholz
16:05 15.06.2024
Azerbaijan weather forecast for June 16
Azerbaijan weather forecast for June 16
15:00 15.06.2024
Mavericks beat Celtics in NBA Finals game 4
Mavericks beat Celtics in NBA Finals game 4
15:00 15.06.2024
Mass arrests sweep Armenia amid ongoing protests
14:28 15.06.2024
Price of Azerbaijani oil exceeds $84
Price of Azerbaijani oil exceeds $84
14:00 15.06.2024
UK elections: Sunak vows not to quit as MP after election as Tory rivals circle
13:43 15.06.2024
Israeli police arrest 5 outside Netanyahu's residence
13:16 15.06.2024
Russia destroys three Ukrainian drones in Rostov
Russia destroys three Ukrainian drones in Rostov
12:48 15.06.2024
President Ilham Aliyev congratulates King Charles III
12:20 15.06.2024
G7 countries called on all parties in Sudan to cease hostilities
12:00 15.06.2024
World leaders to gather in Swiss resort in attempt to forge Ukraine peace plan
11:36 15.06.2024
Today marks 3rd anniversary of signing Shusha Declaration
11:16 15.06.2024
President of Azerbaijan: Cooperation of political parties of countries of OTS plays an important role in the realization of common goals - UPDATED
11:00 15.06.2024
Construction of Shusha Central District Hospital may be finalized this year
10:26 15.06.2024
Today marks National Salvation Day of Azerbaijan
08:54 15.06.2024
French leftwing parties form ‘Popular Front’ to contest snap election
23:00 14.06.2024
NATO defense ministers agree plan to lead coordination of security assistance and training for Ukraine
NATO defense ministers agree plan to lead coordination of security assistance and training for Ukraine
21:45 14.06.2024
US confirms sanctions against Israeli group
21:00 14.06.2024
Azerbaijan Army positions in Nakhchivan direction once again subjected to fire
20:00 14.06.2024
Nuri Sahin appointed new head coach of Borussia Dortmund
Nuri Sahin appointed new head coach of Borussia Dortmund
19:00 14.06.2024
Ukraine says Putin's peace proposal 'absurd'
18:00 14.06.2024
Putin Sets Conditions for Ukraine Peace Talks
17:00 14.06.2024
COP29: ‘We need to collectively make progress across all pillars of Paris Agreement’
16:43 14.06.2024
Armenia sends protest note to Belarus
16:29 14.06.2024
Putin: New territories will always be with Russia
16:13 14.06.2024
Putin: World comes close to point of no return
16:00 14.06.2024
Tent camp of protestors in Yerevan removed
15:40 14.06.2024
President Ilham Aliyev approves documents signed between Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan
15:20 14.06.2024
Lithuania considers sending military instructors to Ukraine
15:00 14.06.2024
Kazakhstan imposes temporary ban on sugar exports
Kazakhstan imposes temporary ban on sugar exports
14:40 14.06.2024
ISU allows somersaults in competitions
14:20 14.06.2024
Azerbaijan boosts commercial gas extraction by 4% in 2023
14:00 14.06.2024
Russia to replace ambassador to Armenia amid Pashinyan's CSTO withdrawal statements
13:40 14.06.2024
Over 1.5 million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia for Hajj
Over 1.5 million pilgrims arrive in Saudi Arabia for Hajj
13:20 14.06.2024
Hamısı