Announcement of visa restriction policy to undermine democracy in Georgia and comprehensive review of all US-Georgia cooperation

In recent months, the ruling Georgian Dream party has developed and passed a “foreign influence” law that would stifle the exercise of freedoms of association and expression, stigmatize organizations that serve the citizens of Georgia, and prevent the media from Independent communications work to provide Georgians with access to high-quality information. When Georgian citizens have expressed their opposition to the law, we have seen clear signs of a campaign of intimidation and the use of violence to suppress peaceful dissent. Both the “national security law” and the repressive tactics used to stifle legitimate dissent undermine Georgia’s democracy and the fundamental freedoms to which the Georgian people are entitled and run counter to Georgia’s long-stated goal – reflected in its constitution – Euro-Atlantic integration. and strategic partnership with the United States.

In response to these actions, the State Department is implementing a new visa restriction policy for Georgia that will apply to individuals responsible or complicit in undermining democracy in Georgia, as well as their family members. This includes individuals responsible for suppressing civil society and freedom of peaceful assembly in Georgia through a campaign of violence or intimidation.

U.S. support for Georgian democracy is enduring and critical to our bilateral relationship. Anyone who undermines democratic processes or institutions in Georgia, including in the lead-up to, during, and after the October 2024 elections in Georgia, may be deemed ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy and may be prevented from traveling to the countries. USA. Immediate family members of such individuals may also be subject to these restrictions.

I am also launching today a comprehensive review of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Georgia. We remain hopeful that Georgia’s leaders will reconsider the bill and take steps to advance their nation’s democratic and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. As we review the relationship between our two countries, we will take Georgia’s actions into account when deciding our own.

This visa restriction policy complies with Section 212 (a)(3)(C) of the National and Immigration Law and allows the Department of State to implement visa restrictions for individuals, whether current or former state or non-state actors who are responsible or complicit in undermining democracy in Georgia, including through the use of violence, force or coercion to prevent the exercise of civil or political rights, as well as the immediate family members of such persons.

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