Germany continues to be concerned about Georgia's planned law on foreign influence and believes the government should withdraw it, as happened once before, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a joint press conference with his Georgian counterpart.

He added that it was crucial that the Caucasus country's upcoming elections be free and fair, especially given its aspiration to join the European Union.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze responded that his government's "transparency law" merely gave the government the right to look at foreign-funded NGOs' accounts once a year, and that it was not surprising that foreign actors wanting to influence the country's democracy opposed this.

"We have a right to a minimum degree of transparency from our NGOs," he said.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt, Editing by Rachel More)