Standing With Our Georgian Friends
by Ted Poe on December 13, 2018 at 3:03 PM
The Republic of Georgia is a beacon of democracy in a part of the world which has struggled to break the legacy of Soviet oppression. While Georgia successfully achieved independence in 1991, Moscow is still attempting to bully the small nation back into its orbit.
In 2008, Russian troops invaded the country, seizing nearly a third of Georgia's territory that is still occupied today. Despite Russia's persistent human rights abuses and aggressive tactics, the Georgian people remain defiant. They continue to express a clear desire to determine their own futures and integrate with the Euro-Atlantic community. Putin hates Georgia's path to liberty because successful democracies positioned on Russia's border are a threat to his despotic rule.
To deter Russia's continued belligerence, we must boost Georgia's ability to defend itself and make an ironclad commitment to our Georgian friends. For peace and freedom to preserve in the Caucasus, it must become clear to Putin that undermining Georgia's independence will be a costly endeavor.
To help Georgia repel future Russian aggression, Rep. Connolly and I have introduced H.R. 6219, the Georgia Support Act. This important bill calls on the State Department to provide a strategy to Congress to help bolster Georgia's defenses. Specifically, it calls for efforts to strengthen Georgia's cyber security capabilities and resiliency to Russian disinformation campaigns that undermine its fragile democracy. The bill also requests the President to impose sanctions on Russian individuals who commit human rights abuses on Georgia territory.
For more than two decades, Georgia has been a steadfast ally of the United States and the Euro-Atlantic community. We must not abandon our Georgian friends in the face of continued Russian aggression. To do so only invites Putin to further pursue his goal of rebuilding the Soviet Empire. America must stand with Georgia and demand complete respect for our ally's territorial integrity and sovereignty. This bill must pass to send a clear message of defiance to Putin and a message of hope to our Georgian friends.
And that's just the way it is.