Media reports said on May 18 that Georgia’s President Salome Zourabichvili has vetoed the “foreign agents” bill that has sparked unprecedented protests in the country and warnings from Brussels that the measure would undermine Tbilisi’s European Union aspirations.

On Saturday May 18, she wrote on her X (Twitter) page “Today, I vetoed the Russian law. This law, in its essence and spirit, is fundamentally Russian, contradicting our constitution and all European standards. It thus represents an obstacle to our European path.”

But Zourabichvili’s veto on Saturday is likely to only delay the proposed legislation, not block it.  The parliament can override the veto with an additional vote.

Recall, Georgia's parliament on May 1 approved the second reading of a bill on "foreign agents" that has been criticized as Kremlin-inspired, as police fired tear gas and stun grenades to clear a large crowd of protesters opposed to the draft law.

Lawmakers reportedly voted 83 to 23 to adopt the bill in a second reading after a heated debate that included the expulsion of four opposition deputies and a fight between members representing opposition and majority parties.

The incident clashes between police and demonstrators over the foreign agents bill regarded by many as mirroring a law used by the Russian government to stifle dissent in that country.

The bill reportedly requires non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and media outlets with more than 20 percent of their funding coming from outside Georgia to register as bodies “pursuing the interests of a foreign power”.

If they refuse to do so and to disclose sensitive information about foreign funding, they will meet a fine of 25,000 lari (US$9,360), followed by additional fines of 20,000 lari (US$7,490) for each month of non-compliance thereafter.

The draft law has sparked a rolling political crisis in the country.