Georgia recalls ambassador to Ukraine for consultations over Saakashvili's appointment as head of Reform Council
Georgia recalls its ambassador from Ukraine for consultations regarding the appointment of Mikheil Saakashvili as head of the Ukrainian National Reform Council, announced Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
"This is an accepted practice in diplomatic relations, which indicates the emergence of certain problems in bilateral relations, so to determine future steps we require consultations with the ambassador," said Zalkaliani.
The National Reforms Council was created in 2014 by decree of the fifth Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. The document noted that it is a "special advisory and advisory body under the President of Ukraine on strategic planning, harmonization of positions on a single state policy of reforms in Ukraine and their implementation." The president approves the personal composition of the National Council.
According to official information, 28 meetings of the National Reforms took place in 2014-2018, the last one in early March 2018.
On April 22, Saakashvili said that President Volodymyr Zelensky offered him the position of deputy prime minister for reforms. Information about the possible appointment was confirmed by several Ukrainian news outlets. In the internal discussions of "The Servants of the People" party it was emphasized that the initiative to appoint Saakashvili came from the President’s Office. Later, the head of the Presidential Office Andrii Yermak also confirmed that the proposal to invite Saakashvili to the Cabinet was floated at one of the meetings with the president.
On April 24, the deputy head of the "Servant of the People" faction, Oleksandr Kornienko, said that the Verknovna Rada will not consider Saakashvili's appointment on that day. According to the MP, the candidate for deputy prime minister still "needs to go the way of communication with factions." Also, according to the Ukrainian media that the "Servant of the People" faction does not have the necessary 226 votes for his appointment, and "not even 220". At the same time, it is noted that Saakashvili can be appointed acting deputy prime minister without a vote of the parliament - by the decision of the government.
On April 30, the head of the "Servant of the People" faction, David Arahamiya, said that Saakashvili had found a different format of work in the government, but he did not name a specific position.
Saakashvili received his Ukrainian passport on May 29, 2015 by decree of President Petro Poroshenko. From May 2015 to November 2016, the Georgian politician was chairman of the Odesa Regional Administration. However, in July 2017, the Ukrainain authorities stripped Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship explaining that the former president of Georgia provided inaccurate information when he received it. In May 2019, Kyiv overturned Poroshenko's decision to strip Saakashvili of Ukrainian citizenship.