President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced Ukraine recalls its Ambassador to Georgia over the “immoral position” of Irakli Garibashvili’s cabinet on Russia sanctions and for barring Georgian volunteers from flying to Ukraine.
“Our diplomats are implementing just and necessary decisions against the states that have betrayed their word and international law,” President Zelenskyy said in the video address. He also recalled Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan for “justifying” the aggression against Ukraine.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also received criticism from Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal yesterday after Georgian authorities barred a chartered jet from landing in Georgia to transport some 60 volunteers to Ukraine.
“Brave Georgian brothers are waiting at the airport to fly to [Ukraine]. I hope [Irakli Garibashvili] will show his courage and give permission to fly,” PM Shmyhal tweeted.
Meanwhile, Georgian Dream chair Irakli Kobakhidze was quoted by the media as saying today that the Government’s greenlight would have amounted to the country “getting involved in the conflict.”
Tbilisi and Kyiv had begun to thaw their strained relationship throughout 2021, as Georgia’s Ambassador returned to Ukraine in April 2021 following a year-long hiatus over Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s decision in 2020 to appoint former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as the Chair of Ukraine’s Executive Reform Committee.
Ukrainian Ambassador on Recall from Tbilisi
Ukrainian Ambassador Ihor Dolhov commented on the decision on March 1 with Mtavari Akrhi TV.
“Obviously, a lot needs to be discussed, but such things are not discussed by phone, so I was instructed to come for a consultation,” Ambassador Dolhov said about the decision.
With regards to volunteers wanting to go to Ukraine, he noted that “there is a clear understanding that the [Georgian] government and all other bodies will not interfere with those who want to go,” the envoy noted.
“…But there was no agreement [with the Georgian government] regarding the plane, so this is a completely different story,” he said about the February 28 incident.
“It was about the fact that we could not get permission –when there was an opportunity and necessity– for a charter flight from Tbilisi,” the Ukrainian Ambassador underscored.
Asked if medical personnel was barred from traveling, he denied there were government bans to this end, stressing that “nobody forbade anything.”
The Ukrainian Embassy also issued a statement on Facebook, warning that some media outlets in Georgia have spread a misinterpreted translation of the Ambassador’s original interview with Mtavari Arkhi.
NB: This article was last updated on March 2 at 15:10. The comments from the Ambassador and a paragraph on the Embassy’s statement were added.
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