Georgia threatens to recall its ambassador to Ukraine if Saakashvili is appointed deputy prime minister

Georgia will recall the ambassador from Ukraine if Mikheil Saakashvili is appointed to a position in the Ukrainian government, stated Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, as cited by Echo of the Caucasus.

"If such a decision is made, we will at least recall the ambassador from Kyiv for consultations," Gakharia told reporters.

According to him, from Ukraine’s side, as a strategic partner of Georgia, it is "categorically unacceptable" to appoint Saakashvili to a high position, as he is wanted in Gerogia.

Earlier, Georgian Ambassador to Ukraine Teimuraz Sharashenidze said that his country could regard Saakashvili's appointment as an unfriendly step.

The information about the possible appointment of Saakashvili to the post of deputy prime minister for reforms was confirmed by several Ukrainian news outlets with reference to sources in the government. In the internal discussions of "The Servants of the People" it was emphasized that the initiative to appoint Saakashvili as deputy prime minuster came from the office of the Ukrainian President

Saakashvili himself called it an honor to join the team of President Volidymyr Zelensky. According to him, he sees two key tasks as deputy prime minister for reforms - negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and deregulation. In addition, Saakashvili said that the president wants to make him a negotiator with the IMF.

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 Friday. 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.

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.

The Government of Ukraine has three deputy prime ministers: Deputy Prime Minister on matters of the European integration Vadym Prystaiko, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov.

Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. In June 2018, he was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison in connection with the beating of the country's MP Valery Gelashvili in 2005. In addition, he is a defendant in several other criminal cases

  Saakashvili, Ukraine, Zelensky

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