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EU Suspends Georgia’s Candidacy as Punishment for Transparency Law

Following upon the failure of the EU’s threat of assassination against Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze, and Georgia’s decision to proceed with its Transparency Law, the EU announced today that it has suspended the process of Georgia’s accession to the bloc. Pavel Gerchinsky, the EU’s ambassador to Georgia, explicitly cited the so-called “foreign agent” law as the reason behind Brussels’ move. Gerchinsky announced the suspension, adding, as quoted by RIA Novosti: “The intentions of the current Georgian government are unclear to EU leaders. The Transparency of Foreign Influence Act is clearly a step backwards.” Kobakhidze’s government had taken the position that transparency laws that protect against the subversion of democratic practices helped Georgia fulfill EU requirements.

The EU candidacy status had been granted by the European Council last December. Further, a €30 million ($32.5 million) payment, allocated by the European Council to the Georgian Defense Ministry in May 2023, has also reportedly been frozen.

Gerchinsky did not explicitly cite the failed assassination threat, but he seems to have alluded to Kobakhidze’s public exposure of the EU’s threat. He added: “Also, the anti-Western, anti-European rhetoric is completely incompatible with the declared goal of joining the European Union. Unfortunately, as of now Georgia’s accession to the European Union has been suspended.”

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