Richard Branson Urges Georgia To Revoke 'Awful Bill' Labeled 'The Russian Law' By Opponents As Mass Protests Hit Former Soviet Republic

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, has called for the withdrawal of a controversial bill in Georgia, amid widespread protests. The bill, if passed, would require organizations receiving over 20% of their funding from abroad to register as “agents of foreign influence.”

What Happened: Branson, a billionaire entrepreneur, took to social media platform X, to voice his concerns about the bill, which has sparked a political crisis in Georgia.

He wrote, “The desire to be free and determine your own destiny is a force like few others. Georgia's leaders should listen to the will of the people and scrap this awful bill.”

Branson’s statement comes in the wake of massive protests against the bill, with around 50,000 people marching through the streets of Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, on May 11, reported CNN. The U.S. has also expressed concerns, with White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan warning of “democratic backsliding” in Georgia.

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Despite the opposition, the bill is set to undergo its third and final reading in the Georgian parliament, which is controlled by the ruling Georgian Dream party. The bill has been met with strong resistance from various quarters, including opposition parties, civil society, and even the country’s president.

Opponents of the Georgian bill have labeled it as “the Russian law,” drawing parallels to legislation aimed at silencing critics of President Vladimir Putin‘s Kremlin.

The European Union, having granted Georgia candidate status in December, has warned that passing the bill could hinder further integration efforts.

Georgian Dream argues that the bill will enhance transparency and uphold Georgian national sovereignty.

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalEuropean UnionGeorgiaKaustubh BagalkoteKremlinRichard BransonVirgin GroupVladimir Putin
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