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Georgia's president vetoes controversial 'proxy law'

Georgia's president vetoes controversial 'proxy law'

The dispute over the law is seen as a guideline on whether Georgia seeks EU membership or wants to strengthen ties with Russia.

President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili It vetoed a law passed by Parliament that classified some organizations as “foreign agents.” She explained that she had taken this step as she announced, according to the official Russian news agency TASS Saturday.

However, the president can be overruled by another vote in Parliament. The majority of representatives there voted in favor of the law on Tuesday, against which huge protests erupted in the capital, Tbilisi, and other cities.

Parallel to the law in Russia

The law requires organizations that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad to register as “agents of foreign influence.” Critics see similarities to a law in Russia under which the government takes action against opposition and parts of society. The government in Tbilisi defends the project as promoting transparency and national sovereignty.

The dispute over the law is seen as pointing the way towards whether Georgia is working towards joining the European Union and NATO, as promoted by the ruling Georgian Dream party, or whether it wants to strengthen ties with Russia. The European Union, which granted Georgia candidate status in December, has repeatedly said the law would pose an obstacle to the country's further integration into the bloc. Russia refused to have any influence in this regard.

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