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Saakashvili denies interest in formal post in Ukraine’s new government

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 29
Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili is not going to take formal post in Ukraine. Saakashvili has said in a Facebook page that a team of Georgian reformers have already launched active moves in Ukraine. Former Minister of Economy Kakha Bendukidze also confirmed that he has already been appointed as an adviser on economic issues for the newly-elected Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko.

In the passage, Saakashvili admitted that in the past decades, Georgia has brought up a whole generation of young reformers who are eager to share Georgian reforms to help the new government of Ukraine in building a new Ukraine.

“I’m not going to hold a formal position in Ukraine’s government. Our team, tens of experienced Georgian reformers already work in Kiev and other places of Ukraine. We already work with the government on creating a united public registry, an electronic registry and public service halls. We started to work with the newly elected Mayor of Kiev and local regional leaders of Ukraine. The success of Ukraine’s reforms means a big victory for freedom in the region, which is vitally important for Georgia,” Saakashvili said.

Meanwhile, Bendukidze stated that a five-man council has been created at the president’s office that will meet once a month to create solutions on important economic issues.

“I believe that Ukraine is in a very hard situation now with multiple economic difficulties. If I can do something, I will do it with pleasure. I appeal to all Georgians to support Ukraine,” Bendukidze said, noting that there are two Canadian and two American advisors in the council aside from him.

Members of the Parliamentary minority members have already made praising comments towards their team members, saying that the fact was a large-scale recognition of Georgian reforms. They also state that taking such important positions by Georgian political figures in Ukraine’s life will be positively reflected on Georgia’s international image, as well as between the two countries’ relations.

The current Georgian administration has already provided “friendly advice” to Ukraine’s new leaders: to refrain from involving Saakashvili (who led the country into various disasters) in their political affairs. According to Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili and some other Georgian officials, Ukraine will not reap anything positive from involving former UNM members. The ruling coalition MP Manana Kobakhidze stated that some UNM MPs claim that they have family problems, missing sessions to spend time in Ukraine. She took former head of Public Registry Agency, Giorgi Vashadze as an example.

Analyst Zaal Anjaparidze believes that it would be a wise step from Ukraine to send some people to Georgia, to more closely study the actions of the former Georgian president, and only afterwards decide how useful a resource Saakashvili will be for their country’s advancement.

“As for the successful reforms that were carried out in the country under the previous administration, it should be stressed that this success was not the only based on the merit of Saakashvili’s team. There was serious support from the USAID, from American and European analysts in terms of the successful establishment and implementation of the reforms,” Anjaparidze told The Messenger. The analyst highlighted that Saakashvili is less likely to play a positive role both in Georgian-Ukrainian and Russian-Ukrainian relations. “However, Ukraine is our strategic partner and I think that the Georgian government will act reasonably, and will not damage the friendly relationship with Ukraine owing to Saakashvili’s personality,” Anjaparidze said.