10.03.2023 (Caucasian Journal) As a result of a violent two-day standoff in downtown Tbilisi, the Georgian ruling party has withdrawn two controversial draft laws “on foreign influence” targeting foreign-funded NGOs and mass media, one of which has already been passed on first reading.
Today, Caucasian Journal publishes the opinions of some leaders of civil society organizations in Georgia, who were offered the following two questions asked by our journal:
Question 1 (Emotional): How would you summarize your feeling — after these days of standoff and their result?
Question 2 (Analytical): Do you envisage any changes now on the strategic level, or does this “laws story” have a tactical importance only?
Tinatin KHIDASHELI, Chairperson of Civic IDEA (Civic Initiative for Democratic and Euro-Atlantic Choice), former Minister of Defence of Georgia, Caucasian Journal’s Board Member:
To me, these days were important for a particular reason. The actions of the people during the crisis proved that their devotion to the European cause was clear and resolute. My most important conclusion from the events of the last couple of days is that regardless of all the problems, all the impediments on our way to state-building, when it comes to the most sacred ideals, and most important issues of the final destination of Georgia people absolutely clearly speak: Georgia belongs to Western civilization, and there is no room for Russian alliances.
Nothing surprising about the government, we’ve seen it many times, and I believe you will see it again, but the important point is that people did not surrender. We have won the struggle, but the main fight is still ahead of us, the fight for the final victory over everything Russian and the semi-dictatorial ambitions of the shadow leadership of Georgia.
The actual goal behind the law is to marginalize civil society and all not aligned with them.