The United States House Committee on Appropriations passed a bill on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs).
The bill, along with other issues, sets forth U.S. priorities in terms of support and assistance for partner countries. FY22 Consolidated Appropriations Act still includes important passages on de-occupation and non-recognition of the Georgian regions and envisages the highest level of financial assignations for Georgia.
According to the document, none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available for assistance for the central government of a country that the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations has recognized the independence of, or has established diplomatic relations with, the Russian occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. The document indicates that none of the funds appropriated by this Act may be made available to support the Russian occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.
According to the Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive directors of each international financial institution to vote against any assistance by such institution (including any loan, credit, or guarantee) for any program that violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.
The bill reads that, within the Countering Russia Influence Fund, $290 million will be allocated in total for countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including for Georgia, to develop law enforcement and security capabilities, to come closer to the U.S. and NATO. Part of the funds will go towards ensuring the implementation of the EU Association Agreements and Trade Agreements and the reduction of political and economic pressure from Russia.
Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2022 fiscal year set USD 132,025,000 as the minimum amount for Georgia to receive.
In the bill’s chapter on security programs, the committee maintains that it “continues its focus on supporting programs that are critical to the national security interests of the United States and remains committed to the security of our allies and partners”.
The Committee recommendation includes continued support for critical allies such as Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Colombia, and India, as well as Ukraine, Georgia, and the Baltic allies who are on the front line in opposition to renewed Russian aggression. The security and stability of our allies directly affect the United States.
With regard to Georgia, in particular, the Committee directs the Secretary of State and the USAID Administrator to prioritize programs aimed at strengthening the rule of law and democratic institutions to promote transparency and good governance. Ongoing threats by the Russian government underscore the importance of continuing United States foreign assistance to former communist countries, including Georgia, in their continued efforts in areas of democracy and the rule of law.