Georgian politician accuses 'global war party' of interfering in Tbilisi's domestic affairs

Aggression of ‘global war party’ against Georgia caused by its failure to turn country into a 'second front,' says Bidzina Ivanishvili

Burc Eruygur  | 30.04.2024 - Update : 30.04.2024
Georgian politician accuses 'global war party' of interfering in Tbilisi's domestic affairs


Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party, accused what he described as a “global war party” of interfering in his country’s political affairs, amid the reintroduction of a “foreign agents” bill that sparked protests in the capital Tbilisi.

"You all saw the resolution adopted by the European Parliament a few days ago. ... In this case as well, the 'global war party' forced the European Parliament to support a completely un-European resolution. All of this had two goals: on the one hand, they once again tried to brazenly interfere in Georgia’s affairs, and on the other, they once again showed everyone that the European Parliament has become yet another one of their tools," Ivanishvili said at a rally in front of the parliament in support of the bill on "foreign agents" late Monday.

Last Thursday, the European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the reintroduction of a foreign agent bill in Georgia, defining it as "incompatible with EU values and democratic principles" and arguing it to be damaging to Tbilisi's EU membership ambitions and Euro-Atlantic integration.

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

The bill, first introduced in March 2023, was shelved after it triggered mass protests resulting in the arrest of 66 people and the injury of more than 50 law enforcement officers, but was resubmitted to parliament earlier this month, causing protests to reignite.

Critics say the bill would undermine democracy and have labeled it as a "Russian law," but members of the ruling majority say it would boost transparency.

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili also declared that she would veto the bill. However, Georgian Dream can override the president's veto by collecting 76 votes, after which the country's parliament speaker can sign the bill into law.

Expressing that Georgia and Ukraine were not allowed to join NATO despite the promises made to them at the alliance's 2008 Bucharest Summit in 2008, Ivanishvili said all such decisions are made by the "global war party," which it claimed has "a decisive influence on NATO and the European Union, and which only sees Georgia and Ukraine as cannon fodder.”

Claiming that this “global war party” entered Tbilisi into a conflict with Russia back in 2008, and later put Ukraine in an “even more difficult situation” in 2014 and 2022, Ivanishvili said its “aggression” towards Georgia stems from its failure to turn Georgia into a “second front.”

“The public often asks, why is it that those abroad fight against the transparency of the NGOs with such fervor? … The non-transparent funding of NGOs is the main tool with which you can appoint the authorities of Georgia from abroad. The goal is for Georgia to be ruled not by the authorities elected by the people but by the ‘bats’ appointed from outside,” he said.

Ivanishvili further said it is their duty to prevent this from happening, arguing that the funding of NGOs from abroad is used almost exclusively to “strengthen the agents and bring them to power.”

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze also addressed the rally in support of the bill, claiming the difference between their rally and the ones opposing the bill to be the latter’s undertaking with a “submissive mindset.”

“It’s crucial for these individuals to understand that yielding sovereignty, independence and values to the whims of the radical opposition, non-governmental organizations and their backers would leave both the European Union and our entire country at a loss,” Kobakhidze said.

He further claimed that opposition groups have attempted to foment a revolution in the country for the past three years, and that their current efforts are driven by a desire to “conceal their illicit funds.”

“Those who oppose the transparency of NGOs are united in their goal to prevent the country from finding stability, perpetuating a cycle of the so-called polarization and unrest,” he went on to say, adding that Georgia is in need of economic, infrastructural, and social progress.

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