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Kiev refuses to extradite Saakashvili

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 3
Despite the convergence of strategic interests, the Georgian and Ukrainian leadership have quite a cold relationship.

It is likely that this is not only the result of their dissimilar policy towards Russia.

More likely, the cause due to the appointment of former Georgian officials to leading posts in the Ukrainian government. And the current Georgian government does not hide its displeasure as such.

The issue triggering the deepest concern is Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Saakashvili, who currently serves as an advisor of the President of Ukraine, is wanted by the Georgian government for human rights abuses and economic crimes during his time in office.

The current Georgian government has appealed to the Ukrainian authorities to extradite him.

“As a result of the review of [Georgia’s extradition request], the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine has concluded there is a significant risk that the extradition request for Saakashvili was made with the purpose of his prosecution based on political motives,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office said on April 1. The statement also said that the extradition of Saakashvili would be in conflict with the European Convention on Human Rights.

“It is questionable on how Saakashvili will appreciate Ukraine’s support. I don’t exclude the possibility that the Prosecutor’s Office will also become Saakashvili’s victim in the near future,” Majority member Manana Kobakhidze says.

Meanwhile the opposition United National Movement (UNM) believes that the Saakashvili’s extradition request was the work of the Kremlin.

“The appeal represents a black stain for the current Georgian authorities, as it appears Saakashvili costs more for Ukraine and the international community than for the Georgian government,” UNM MP Sergo Ratiani states.

The Prime Minister’s Ukrainian trip is still uncertain. According to Irakli Gharibashvili, the delay was not because of the political and legal issues. He claims that now he is busy with domestic issues.

However, the PM stressed that Saakashvili’s active participation in Ukrainian affairs was not pleasant for him.

Recently, Ukraine has been visited by Georgia’s president, and several other high-ranking officials.

The Georgians taking high posts in Ukraine include former UNM MP Davit Sakvarelidze (Deputy General Prosecutor of Ukraine), Eka Zguladze (Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister), Gia Getsadze (Ukraine’s Deputy Justice Minister), and Alexander Kvitashvili (Ukraine’s Healthcare Minister).