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Moscow Blasts West for Hypocrisy Over Criticism of Georgian Bill on Foreign Agents

© Sputnik / Natalia SeliverstovaThe building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow.
The building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.03.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States has had a law since 1938 mandating registration of entities lobbying foreign interests, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday, commenting on the European Union's criticism of a similar draft law in Georgia.
Earlier in the week, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Georgia's controversial draft law on foreign agents was incompatible with EU values and contradicted the country's goal to join the European Union.
"It is now clear why the US is still not in the EU. There, this law [on foreign agents] has been in effect since 1938," Zakharova wrote on Telegram.
Georgia's parliament on Tuesday adopted a bill On Transparency of Foreign Influence, by a majority vote in the first reading in a 76-13 vote. Under the law, a list of individuals and entities receiving financing from abroad would be created. This sparked mass protests and concerns among the opposition, who fear it would allow the government to suppress the work of non-governmental organizations and activists in the country.
The Georgian flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 07.03.2023
Georgian President Backs Protesters in Tbilisi, Vows to Veto Foreign Agents Bill
After the announcement of the results of the vote in Georgia's parliament on Tuesday, clashes between special forces and demonstrators, who gathered earlier in the day to protest the bill, erupted near the parliament building, with several law enforcement officers and protesters sustaining injuries.
The US Foreign Agents Registration Act is a law enacted in 1938 which imposes requirements for any individual or entity that becomes an "agent of a foreign principal" to disclose their affiliations, related activities and finances, with penalties for violations. The US was the first country ever to introduce such a legislation, setting a precedent for many other countries.
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