PROMOTING GOOD GOVERNANCE IN THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 164
(Extensions of Remarks - September 22, 2020)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E870-E871]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          PROMOTING GOOD GOVERNANCE IN THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA

                                 ______
                                 

                             HON. KEN BUCK

                              of colorado

                    in the house of representatives

                      Tuesday, September 22, 2020

  Mr. BUCK. Madam Speaker, I rise today to express my concern regarding 
the ongoing deterioration of good governance in the Republic of 
Georgia. Recent reports indicate the Georgian government has undermined 
the Digital Silk Way, a digital communications project meant to 
transform the region's technological integration and increase 
independence from Russian and Iranian influence. In light of Russia and 
Iran's ongoing corruption and threats to international peace and 
stability, this matter is of strategic importance to American foreign 
policy.
  While the Georgian government is an important ally of the United 
States, it has become increasingly hostile toward investors in Georgian 
infrastructure, which threatens critical projects in the region. 
Additionally, the administration's recent adoption of new taxes and 
bureaucratic barriers for Western businesses only serves to further 
undermine American companies' ability to operate within Georgia. I fear 
these changes to Georgian business practices risks increasing the 
nation's dependence on Russia and Iran.
  As an aspiring NATO member and United States ally, Georgia must 
continue to remove itself from Russia and Iran's sphere of influence. 
By focusing on infrastructure projects that bypass American adversaries 
in the region, the Georgian government can create new economic 
opportunities, attract additional foreign investment, and protect the 
country's sovereignty from perverse international influences.
  The partnership between Georgia and the United States relies on 
Georgia's ongoing commitment to fair international business and 
governance practices. I urge the Department of State to raise these 
issues with the government in Tbilisi and ensure the Georgian 
government facilitates an environment where businesses are able to 
develop projects to help Georgia remain free from Russian and Iranian 
influence.

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