Latvia will support EU steps in response to decisions in Georgia that are incompatible with EU values - Foreign Ministry

  • 2024-06-03
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Latvia will support the European Union (EU) steps that will demonstrate the EU's reaction to the decisions in Georgia that are incompatible with the EU value system, Diana Eglite, press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told LETA.

She notes that the ministry has expressed regret over the adoption of the ''foreign influence'' law in the final reading of the Georgian Parliament, despite persistent domestic and international calls, including the veto of the Georgian President and the opinion of the Venice Commission.

Eglite stressed that last year the EU opened its doors to Georgia by granting it candidate status, but the decision to adopt this law takes Georgia away from its EU integration course.

The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson stressed that on May 27 in Brussels, the foreign ministers agreed that the European External Action Service would propose possible ways forward for the EU in its relations with Georgia following the adoption of the law.

The AFP news agency reports that Georgia's parliament voted on Tuesday to adopt a divisive "foreign influence" law targeting NGOs and the media, overcoming a presidential veto on the bill despite Western warnings the move could jeopardize the country's path to the European Union.

The law, which critics have compared to repressive Russian legislation used to silence dissent, forces groups receiving at least 20 percent of funding from abroad to register as "organisations pursuing the interests of a foreign power."

The proposal has drawn fierce opposition from Western governments including the United States, which said the measure risked "stifling" freedom of expression in the Black Sea Caucasus nation.

Brussels warned the measure was "incompatible" with the ex-Soviet republic's longstanding bid for EU membership, which is enshrined in the country's constitution and supported -- according to opinion polls -- by more than 80 percent of the population.

Lawmakers voted 84 to 4 to pass the bill on Tuesday, after overriding pro-EU President Salome Zurabishvili's veto.

Most opposition MPs walked out of the 150-seat chamber ahead of the vote.

The EU said that it deeply regretted the law being adopted, and foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was "considering all options to react to these developments.