Georgia recalls its ambassador to Ukraine

Georgia recalls its ambassador to Ukraine

Georgian Ambassador to Ukraine Teimuraz Sharashenidze has been recalled to Tbilisi for consultations as Georgia's former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who faces several convictions in Georgia, has been appointed chair of the executive committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council.

"Georgia’s strategic partner’s decision to appoint a person, who is convicted by Georgian courts and prosecuted, raises questions," Georgian foreign minister David Zalkaliani told reporters.

He said that the decision did not mean breaking diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However the appointment of a man who was convicted in Georgia and is wanted by Georgian law enforcers by a strategic partner causes questions. That is why with the involvement of the ambassador, we should figure out what should be done in this situation not to affect bilateral relations,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry stated that the appointment of Saakashvili to the reforms council and not as vice PM of Ukraine, as was initially considered, points at the ‘sceptical attitude’ to Saakashvili by the Ukrainian political spectrum and parliament.

"At the same time, we believe that the Georgian attitude, as a strategic partner, was also taken into account (when Saakashvili’s candidacy was withdrawn as vice PM for reforms in Ukraine)," cited the ministry as saying.

President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky signed a decree yesterday to appoint Saakashvili as the chair of the executive committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council. Zelensky expressed hope that Saakashvili will ‘’give impetus’ to the council and help make ‘important changes' in Ukraine.”

Initially, Saakashvili was offered the post of vice PM of Ukraine for reforms. However, his candidacy was later withdrawn.

The possibility of appointing Saakashvili in Ukrainian government immediately caused dissatisfaction in official Tbilisi. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, President Salome Zurabishvili and Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze said that Saakashvili’s appointment in the Ukrainain government would be ‘absolutely unacceptable.’