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Biden’s advisor warns Georgian president against helping Russia to dodge sanctions

Jake Sullivan and Salome Zurabishvili discuss the "need to ensure that Russia continues to feel the full economic impact" of restrictions and export restrictions
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan
© AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

WASHINGTON, March 11. /TASS/. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told Georgian President President Salome Zourabichvili that her country should not take part in helping Russia to dodge Western sanctions, the White House press service said in a statement.

According to the readout of the meeting, the sides "discussed the need to ensure Russia continues to feel the full economic costs of the sanctions, export controls, and other economic restrictions imposed by the United States" and its allies over the special military operation in Ukraine.

"Sullivan underscored the need for Georgia to avoid becoming an avenue for evasion or backfill," the document says.

Sullivan and Zourabichvili also "discussed recent developments in Georgia, underscoring their countries’ shared interest in Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration."

"They talked about President Zourabichvili’s advocacy for a unified and inclusive approach to achieving the reforms necessary to advance Georgia’s candidacy for European Union membership," the White House press service said.

"They also discussed their shared concern about draft legislation to register and stigmatize civil society organizations for receiving external funding, which could impede the important work of hundreds of Georgian NGOs working to improve their communities. They welcomed the government’s recent decision to withdraw the two draft laws," it said.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Tbilisi on March 7 and 8, after Georgia’s parliament adopted on first reading the Georgian version of a bill on registering foreign agents of influence. Both rallies ended late at night when security forces dispersed the protesters with water cannons and tear gas. More than 130 people were detained over two days of protests. Following the unrest, Georgia’s ruling party, the Georgian Dream, decided on the morning of March 9 to withdraw the bill.