Americas, Asia - Pacific

US postpones military exercise with Caucasus nation of Georgia

Pentagon says decision was taken as part of review of ties with Georgia over controversial 'foreign influence' bill

Rabia Iclal Turan  | 05.07.2024 - Update : 05.07.2024
US postpones military exercise with Caucasus nation of Georgia


The US announced on Friday that it "indefinitely" postponed a military exercise in the Caucasus nation of Georgia set to start later this month as relations between the two remain tense over a controversial "foreign influence" bill.

"The United States has initiated a comprehensive review of the United States-Georgia bilateral relationship. As part of that review, the United States will indefinitely postpone this iteration of exercise NOBLE PARTNER in Georgia, originally scheduled for July 25 – August 6, 2024," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The statement said the decision was taken due to Georgia's “false accusations” that the US and other Western entities are trying to “pressure Georgia to open a second front against Russia to alleviate pressure on Ukraine, and of participating in two coup attempts against the ruling party."

The US “has determined that this is an inappropriate time to hold a large-scale military exercise in Georgia," it said, adding that Washington will continue to partner with the Georgian Defense Forces for the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The US State Department last month imposed visa restrictions on dozens of Georgian officials in response to the enactment of a "foreign agents" law after lawmakers voted to override a presidential veto.

The controversial law requires organizations, including media outlets, which receive more than 20% of their funding from overseas to register with the state. It also requires them to publish annual financial reports.

The law was first introduced in 2023 but was shelved after it triggered mass protests that resulted in the arrest of 66 people and the injury of more than 50 law enforcement officers. But this April it was reintroduced to parliament, reigniting the protests.

Critics say the law would undermine democracy, calling it a "Russian law," but members of the ruling majority argue that it would increase transparency.

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