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Ukrainian ambassador summoned to Georgia's foreign ministry

Ukraine's Ambassador to Ukraine has been summoned to the Georgian Foreign Ministry over the recent appointment of Georgia's former President Mikhail Saakashvili chairman of the international consultative reform council in Ukraine, local media reported on Sunday, citing sources in the Georgian foreign ministry.

According to media reports, the Ukrainian ambassador is to appear at the Georgian foreign ministry early next week to "provide corresponding explanations." The media also said that Georgian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Ukleba planned find out "the position of Ukraine's relevant agencies on that matter."

Earlier, Eka Beselia, a leader of the Georgian Dream coalition, who chairs the human rights committee of the Georgian parliament, said that the Ukrainian authorities' decision to appoint Saakashvili to the post was a "mistake." She said appointing people whose policy was harmful to Georgia would not be in the interests of Ukraine. "Georgia has an especially warm and friendly attitude to the Ukrainian people and Ukraine. I don't know what reasonable advice Mikhail Saakashvili can give to this country's president," she said, commenting on the Ukrainian media reports about Saakashvili's appointment.

"Georgia had to live through many tragic episodes due to Mikhail Saakashvili's mistakes," Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the Georgian Dream coalition and former Prime Minister of Gerogia, said in an interview with the Kviris Palutra newspaper earlier on Sunday. "I think the appointment of such a man as an adviser in Kiev will bring no good to Ukraine." He noted however that Saakashvili's appointment "is not a tragedy for the Georgian-Ukrainian relations."

Last spring, Georgia's Prime Minister Irakly Gabriashvili said he would recommended the Ukrainian government not to heed to Saakashvili's advice, bearing in mind his radicalism and the "catastrophe he led Georgi to."

Saakashvili left Georgia in mid-November 2013 several days before the expiration of his presidential term. Ever since, he has been living in either the United States or in Ukraine. On July 28, 2014, the Georgian Prosecutor General's Office ruled to bring Saakashvili to criminal liability on charges of acting in excess of his office duties when issuing an order to the Tbilisi police on November 7, 2007 to crush down civilian protesters in Tbilisi. On the same day, Georgian riot police seized the Imedi television channel and beat the channel's employees. After that, "Georgia's top officials, at Saakashvili's order, launched an illegal process of alienating businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili's property."

On August 2, 2014, Tbilisi's city court ruled to arrest Saakashvili. Later on, he was accused of plotting an armed assault on lawmaker Valery Gelashvili in 2005 and of embezzling state funds to a sum of 8.83 million lari /about five million U.S. dollars/ in 2009-2012. On August 14, Saakashvili was put on the national wanted list. The Georgian Prosecutor General's Office is taking steps to put the former president on the international wanted list. Saakashvili however says charges against him are ungrounded.

[Source: Itar Tass, Tbilisi, 15Feb15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 16Feb15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.