Georgia passes controversial ‘foreign agents’ bill despite widespread opposition

Georgia's parliament has passed a controversial foreign agents bill despite widespread domestic opposition and warnings from the European Union that its enactment would imperil the country's chances of joining the bloc.
The new law will require organisations receiving more than 20 per cent of their funding from abroad to register as  agents of foreign influence or face crippling fines.
Opponents say that the legislation was modelled after similar laws in Russia that the Kremlin has used to increasingly snuff out opposition and civil society.
The law was approved on Tuesday by 84 lawmakers voting in favor to 30 against.
After the vote, riot police moved on protesters in the country's capital Tbilisi after some individuals broke into the parliament grounds.  
Many Georgians fear their foreign agents bill will be used the same way in their country.
Polls show that an estimated 80 per cent of Georgians want to join the EU, but Moscow's geopolitical orbit has proven tough to exit.
The movement of the bill has ignited a feverish response, including in parliament, where scuffles and shouting matches broke out during the hours  long debate that preceded the law's passage on Tuesday.

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