Tbilisi sets conditions for Georgian delegation's visit to Ukraine
Georgia sets conditions for visit to Ukraine
Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, has set three conditions for the Ukrainian government under which a Georgian parliamentary delegation can arrive in Ukraine.
Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Shalva Papuashvili was invited to visit the city of Bucha in Ukraine to see with his own eyes the consequences of Russia’s crimes and evaluate them. Andriy Kasyanov, Acting Ambassador of Ukraine to Georgia, announced this at a briefing at the Ukrainian Embassy on April 8. However, Papuashvili refused to go to Bucha.
Recalling of the Ukrainian Ambassador
According to Irakli Kobakhidze, the first problem is that the Ukrainian authorities have taken “several offensive steps”, most notably by recalling its ambassador by Ukraine.
“To this day, Ukraine is in a state of demarche against Georgia. In any case, since then we have not seen other steps from Ukraine. This situation, of course, must change. This is one of the most important issues”, said the chairman of the ruling party.
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Alleged smuggling route problem
Kobakhidze says the second question is related to information from the Ukrainian Defense Ministry about Russia establishing a smuggling route through Georgian territory.
According to one of the members of the Georgian Dream party, the Ukrainian side must either prove this accusation or apologize.
Former Georgian high-ranking officials in Ukrainian government
The third and most serious problem, according to Kobakhidze, is the appointment of former high-ranking Georgian officials in the Ukrainian government.
“We believe that this is the root of all these problems with Ukraine, the root of false accusations, the root of the recall of the ambassador, etc. People who are still leaders of the radical opposition in Georgia are widely represented in the Ukrainian government. Let me remind you that this is primarily Saakashvili, who heads the Reform Council.
And also Adeishvili, Advisor to the Prosecutor General. The same is the case with Lortkipanidze, the first deputy chief of counterintelligence, and also (the leader of the Servant of the People faction) David Arakhamia, the person who provides a direct link between these people and the Ukrainian government. This is a sad reality. Imagine if it were the same in our country: people recognized by the Ukrainian authorities as the most serious criminals would occupy high positions in our country today. Of course, the solution to this issue would be in the interests of Ukraine.
“As soon as we see progress in the first, second, and third directions, naturally, it will be possible to think about a visit at the highest parliamentary level”, Irakli Kobakhidze said.
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Relations between Georgia and Ukraine escalated on the second day after the start of the war, when the Prime Minister of Georgia announced that the country would not join the sanctions against Russia. Gharibashvili also said that Ukraine could not avoid the war, and because of this, most of the Ukrainian people and state will suffer.
On the same day, Grigory Karasin, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Federation Council, praised the Georgian authorities for their stance on Ukraine. Karasin called Georgia’s response to the anti-Russian sanctions of the West “balanced” and stressed that “this fact would not go unnoticed” in Russia.
After that, President Zelensky recalled the Ukrainian ambassador from Georgia, first temporarily, and then on a permanent basis.
The latest scandal was caused by the Ukrainian intelligence statement, according to which Russia was establishing a smuggling route through the territory of Georgia. According to Kyiv, the political leadership of Georgia agreed with Russia on the smuggling of sanctioned products through its territory.
The State Security Service of Georgia responded to the information disseminated by Ukrainian intelligence and called on the Ukrainian side to immediately provide evidence confirming the information in order to respond to it legally.