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TASS reports that the Georgian president is vetoing the bill on “foreign agents.”

Tbilisi: Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has announced that she has vetoed a draft law on foreign agents, Russia's state agency TASS The news agency reported this on Saturday.

Zourabichvili had previously said she would veto the bill, which has sparked street protests. However, their decision can be overturned by another vote in parliament, which is controlled by Georgia's ruling party and its allies.

“Today I vetoed a Russian law. This law is Russian in essence and spirit.” TASS she quoted as telling it in the briefing. “It contradicts our constitution and all European standards and therefore represents an obstacle on our European path.”

TASS quoted the president as saying her veto was legally permissible and would be handed over to parliament on Saturday. “This law must be repealed,” she was quoted as saying.

However, Parliament is widely expected to override the veto.

There have been mass protests in the Georgian capital Tbilisi last month since the first reading of the bill was passed in parliament.

The law requires organizations that receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad to register as agents of foreign influence, which entails strict disclosure requirements and fines for violations.

Opponents see the bill as a test of whether the country will stay on the path of integration with Europe or turn back to Russia.

The United States and the European Union have repeatedly warned the ruling Georgian Dream party to drop the bill as protesters fear it could harm the South Caucasus country's attempts to join the EU.

Published May 18, 2024, 3:47 p.m IS

Anna Harden

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