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First official visit to Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, July 17
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko is scheduled to pay his first official visit to Georgia today.

The visit comes after a well-publicised confrontation between Poroshenko and his now former friend, Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, who served as Odessa’s Governor between 2015 and 2016.

Saakashvili, who faces several charges in Georgia, accused Poroshenko of lobbying for corruption and now is in opposition in Ukraine.

The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, will host an official welcome ceremony for Ukraine’s President on July 18, at the Avlabari Presidential residence in Tbilisi.

After the ceremony, the presidents will meet face-to-face in an enlarged format, make statements for local and foreign media and answer their questions.

Before a press conference they will then sign a bilateral document.

The same day, Poroshenko will bring a wreath to the memorial of fallen heroes for Georgia’s territorial integrity on Heroes’ Square in Tbilisi and will view the Soviet Occupation Museum.

Ukraine’s President is scheduled to visit the occupation line in the Khurvaleti village with President Giorgi Margvelashvili. Khurvaleti was split in two parts by the Russian side with barbed wire, the village was a harbour for many internally displaced people from Tskhinvali region in 2008.

During his three-day visit Poroshenko is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Speaker of Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze.

On July 19,Poroshenko will visit western Georgia: mountainous region Svaneti and black sea region Adjara.

He is scheduled to visit the Margiani Museum, History and Ethnography Museum and traditional towers in Svaneti.

In Batumi Poroshenko will hold a meeting with the head of Government of Adjara’s Autonomous Republic, Zurab Pataradze.

Together with President Margvelashvili Poroshenko will open a Georgia-Ukraine Investment Forum held in Batumi.

Saakashvili has stated that one of the discussing topics will be the case of his extradition to Georgia.

When Saakashvili quitted his post in Ukraiine, Poroshenko stressed that “after losing elections in Georgia, someone decided to come to politics in Ukraine”.