Economy
Posted: 4 weeks ago

US to Offer Visa Liberalization and Military/Trade Package if Georgia Alters Course

If Georgia shifts its anti-democratic trajectory, it could receive a substantial military and trade package from the United States. This is outlined in a bill drafted by US Congressman Joe Wilson, according to a report by Politico.

The bill, named MEGOBARI (Mobilizing and Enhancing Georgia's Options for Building Accountability, Resilience, and Independence Act), also considers the possibility of visa liberalization for Georgia, contingent on significant democratic progress.

The program will be initiated if the US confirms that Georgia has made substantial and sustainable progress in consolidating its democracy. This would be evidenced by at least substantially fair and free elections and a balanced pre-election environment.

"The military package includes defense and security equipment ideal for territorial defense against Russian aggression, along with relevant training and technical services," the publication states.

Politico recently reported on Wilson's bill, which will soon be considered by Congress. The draft of the bill, seen by Politico, warns the ruling party, Georgian Dream, of its increasing political alignment with the Russian Federation. It also highlights Tbilisi's open attacks on the US and other Western democracy-promoting organizations, as well as local and international civil society, while simultaneously strengthening ties with Russia and China.

To protect democracy, the draft law proposes sanctions against government officials and those significantly responsible for undermining democracy, human rights, or the security of Georgia. This includes visa sanctions against politicians and their family members who are responsible for adopting the Russian-style Law on Foreign Agents.

US Assistant Secretary of State Jim O'Brien visited Tbilisi on May 14-15. At a press conference, O'Brien stated that if the law "on transparency of foreign influence"is not amended and is accepted by the ruling power in its current form, the US will impose sanctions on those responsible. He explained that neither the content of the current draft law nor the process of its adoption aligns with European values.