Ukrainian Ambassador to Georgia summoned over statements of ex-president Saakashvili
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, now the head of the reform council of Ukraine, said in a video message on Facebook that he ‘cannot calmly watch how Georgia is falling apart’ and would be in the forefront of the process of overthrowing the current government.
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani regards the ex-president’s statement as a foreign citizen’s interference in Georgia’s internal affairs, and specifically in the election campaign. As a result, the ambassador of Ukraine was called in to give clarifications from the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
Saakashvili made a video address on June 11. He declared:
“Ivanishvili used the coronavirus epidemic for personal enrichment and the ultimate betrayal of the people. I am not going to calmly watch how the country and Georgian families are being destroyed. Of course, I am in the struggle. Of course, we will win. We have to unite, now is not the time to share posts. All who want to help the people should unite. In this fight I will be at the forefront. This year, it will finally be decided whether we will remain slaves of Ivanishvili for the rest of our lives or will we be free citizens of a free country. This year, our country will either die completely or win. There is no third [option]. Therefore, we, of course, are preparing for victory!”
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“We warned our Ukrainian colleagues that this person [Saakashvili] would intervene in the internal affairs of Georgia,” said Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, adding that this was why Tbilisi was unhappy with Kyiv’s decision to appoint Saakashvili to a government post.
Saakashvili again on Facebook responded to a statement by the Georgian Foreign Minister.
“I am neither a member of the government of Ukraine, nor an official representative of any responsible person of this state … I am only the chairman of the council of the executive committee on reforms and can express my opinion on any issue as a free citizen of a free country,” he wrote on his page on Facebook.
The third president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, was appointed by Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky chairman of the executive committee of the National Council for Reform on May 7.
In connection with this decision of Kyiv, the Ambassador of Georgia to Ukraine Teimuraz Sharashenidze was recalled to Tbilisi for consultations.