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Saakashvili to visit Georgia with his diplomatic passport?

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 4
The former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili may acquire immunity and visit Georgia as a Ukrainian diplomat.

It should be noted that on May 29, 2015 by the order of the President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Saakashvili was granted citizenship of the Ukraine and prior to his appointment as the governor of Odessa.

Becoming a citizen of Ukraine means the abolition of his Georgian citizenship automatically, according to Georgian legislation. This gives Saakashvili the chance to visit Georgia as a citizen of the Ukraine.

The minister of Justice of Georgia, Thea Tsulukiani, stated that Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship protects him from criminal prosecution in Georgia, but she said that the Georgian side also has some rights until the termination of his Georgian citizenship procedures.

According to the Minister this fact has an advantage, as well as a disadvantage; it is good, she states, that Saakashvili will never be able to participate in the political life of Georgia, but on the other hand, the fact that he is now Ukrainian complicates the case of his criminal persecution in Georgia politically and legally.

“The Ukraine has an absolute right to refuse the transfer of wanted ex-President to the Georgian side, because now he is their citizen. However there is a little chance left for Georgia in case he moves to another country,” Tsulukiani said.

The Foreign Minister of Georgia, Tamar Beruchashvili, also commented on the issue.

She said that Saakashvili’s decision to reject the citizenship of Georgia, will affect all his future actions, but she did not specify if the former president will be able to visit Georgia by Diplomatic passport.

Members of the Majority exclude Saakashvili’s possible arrival in Georgia.

The MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili says that Georgia and the Ukraine have visa-free travel amongst each other and Saakashvili has all rights to arrive, but he does not think ex-President will come.

Georgia’s former ambassador in France Mamuka Kudava stated that having a Diplomatic Passport does not fully protect a person from criminal persecution.

“No matter whether you have an ordinary or diplomatic passport, this does not give a person immunity against criminal persecution. The immunity can be gained only by accreditation in the recipient country,” he explained.