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Qatar tribune

Moscow: The Georgian parliament approved a law on Tuesday clamping down on foreign-funded non-governmental organizations (NGOs), despite weeks of protests.

Critics say the law is modelled on Russian legislation and jeopardizes the prospects of the small ex-Soviet republic joining the European Union in future.

The EU has even warned the South Caucasus nation over the legislation but, according to Rustavi-2 television, 84 lawmakers voted in favour and 30 against.

The governing majority of the Georgian Dream party says it wishes to create more transparency and accountability among NGOs that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad. However, tens of thousands have protested for weeks in the capital Tbilisi against the legislation.

The protesters say it is Georgia’s version of a Russian law whereby numerous organizations and individuals have been branded by Moscow as “foreign agents,” a classification that often causes major problems for NGOs such as human rights groups.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the parliament on Monday night in a last bid to try to persuade lawmakers. (DPA)

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