New Georgian Law Could Open Door to Russia

Demonstrators block the Georgian Parliament building in Tbilisi on May 1 amid efforts by riot police to disperse the crowd using tear gas and water cannon.
Nicolo Vincenzo Malvestuto/Getty Images

New Georgian Law Could Open Door to Russia

The people of the former Soviet republic are terrified of becoming the next Ukraine.

“If we don’t protect our freedom right now—our European and Western future—tomorrow we’re going to wake up in Russia, and that will be it.” These were the words of Georgian national Tsotne Jafaridze. He is one of tens of thousands of demonstrators who have taken to Georgia’s streets in recent days to protest a “foreign influence” bill that Russia is pushing to tighten its grip on the ex-Soviet country.

The legislation is patterned after a law Russia enacted in 2012 to shut down political opposition, which made the nation significantly less free. If this equivalent is enacted in Georgia, it will require any organization receiving 20 percent or more of its funding from abroad to register with the government as “foreign agents.” This would put West-leaning organizations in the cross hairs of Georgia’s pro-Russia politicians and cripple the country’s attempts to align with the West.

And that is exactly why the bill is being pushed by Russia and the Georgian politicians who are beholden to Moscow, and why many protesters are being met with brutality.

For almost 200 years, Georgia was part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. In 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia gained its independence. Russia has tried ever since to reassert control over the Caucasus nation, evidenced most dramatically by the 2008 war when Russia violently seized a fifth of Georgia’s land and transformed it into de facto Russian territory.

In the time since, Georgian leaders have attempted a balancing act between the country’s citizens, more than 80 percent of whom wish to join the European Union, and the geopolitical ambitions of Russia, which uses back-channel policies to keep some Georgian policymakers in its pocket.

In March 2022, just weeks after Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine began, the will of the people won out: Georgia officially applied for EU membership. As an EU member, they hoped Russia would be forced to give up plans to reconquer the rest of their nation.

A short time later, Russia began pushing pro-Russia Georgian policymakers to adopt an earlier version of this new law. They knew the legislation wasn’t aligned with European values and wanted to throw cold water on Georgia’s plan to join the EU.

In March 2023, the Georgian people protested the earlier version; Georgian legislators were forced to withdraw it. They promised at the time that they would never again attempt to adopt it.

But here we are 14 months later, and Russian leaders still worry that Georgia’s EU aspirations could gain momentum. So they are pushing the legislation once again. This time around, despite widespread protests, the bill is expected to pass. And the maneuver seems to be accomplishing Russia’s goal of torpedoing Georgia’s EU aspirations.

“Let me be clear,” said European Council President Charles Michel, “the draft Law on Transparency of Foreign Influence is not consistent with Georgia’s EU aspiration and its accession trajectory and will bring Georgia further away from the EU and not closer.”

Javier Colomina, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, likewise wrote: “This draft is a step backward and does not further [Georgia’s] Euro-Atlantic integration.”

Russia and the Georgian politicians in its pocket, such as Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, are clearly sabotaging Georgia’s EU ascension plans. This will likely leave the small nation at the mercy of unmerciful Russia.

When President Vladimir Putin’s Russia first invaded Georgia in 2008, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said the illegal move marked the start of “a dangerous new era,” not just for Georgia but for the world. In the 16 years since, this forecast has proved right in one nation after another.

  • 2013—Putin ousted America from Kyrgyzstan.
  • 2014—Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimea and plunged the nation’s east into conflict.
  • 2015—Putin began positioning Russia as a lead player in the Middle East, a perch from which he helped the murderous Syrian regime hold power and facilitated Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
  • August 2020—Putin ensured that Belarus’s longtime dictator remained in power despite a major uprising, effectively turning Belarus into a human-rights trampling Russian satellite state.
  • November 2020—Moscow stationed thousands of Russian soldiers in Azerbaijan for the first time, where they will remain apparently indefinitely.
  • 2022—Russia expanded its war on Ukraine into Europe’s most devastating war in 25 years.
  • 2023–2024—Russia returns to Georgia to advance its slow conquest of the nation.

Putin has also repeatedly partnered with China to undermine the international order, helped North Korea become a more formidable nuclear power, propped up Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro as Venezuela bleeds, worked with Germany to increase both nations’ power over their neighbors, and the list goes on.

Time has proved that Mr. Flurry was right when he said Putin’s 2008 strike on Georgia was only the start and that it would extend far beyond the small Caucasus nation. His forecast that Putin would push the world into “a dangerous new era” proved accurate because it was founded on Bible prophecy.

To understand the prophecies this forecast was built on, order a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’