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Georgia’s Future at Stake: The “Russian Law” and its Implications

Many of us have left Facebook because of the negativity, but the silence outside feels deafening, especially considering recent events in Tbilisi. For 36 years, I’ve witnessed rallies for a free and democratic Georgia, and now, staying silent feels like a betrayal.
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Flags of Georgia and European Union hanging on poles, waving in the wind. Georgia. Europe.

The 2012 election of Bidzina Ivanishvili raised concerns. Some believe he made private commitments to Russia, including limiting criticism of their government and hindering Georgia’s progress towards the European Union (EU) and NATO. The war in Ukraine appears to have shifted things. Public pressure arguably forced Georgia’s government to apply for EU candidate status and withdraw the “Russian Law” in 2023, a law seen as a barrier to EU membership.

However, the reappearance of the “Russian Law” in April 2024 raises serious questions. Was the timing strategic? Perhaps the idea was to block Georgia’s representation at the upcoming NATO summit in July, where a potential protection plan for Georgia might be announced. News reports suggest this plan could include military assistance, maritime defense, and even troop deployments from France, Britain, and the US. Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze’s visit to Washington in May could have been the stage for discussions on this very issue.

Some dismiss Ivanishvili and his team as conspiracy theorists, but is it entirely implausible that they prioritize other interests over Georgia’s integration with the West? Focusing on fabricated threats distracts us from the real issues at stake.

The potential consequences of this law are dire. It could prevent Georgia’s representation at the crucial NATO summit, jeopardizing vital security measures. Furthermore, a weakened Georgia could be pressured to contribute troops to a future Russian military campaign. This scenario would be a betrayal on a far greater scale than the events of 1921.

What can we do?

History reminds us of Georgian resilience. Thousands fought against Russian occupation in 1921, and hundreds of thousands more bravely served in World War II. We must act now to prevent a future where Georgian soldiers are forced to fight against our own interests.

Here are some ways to get involved:

  • Attend peaceful protests.
  • Contact your elected representatives and voice your concerns.
  • Share reliable information about the law and its implications on social media.

By working together, we can ensure Georgia has a voice at the NATO summit and takes steps towards a secure and democratic future.

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