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GD Lists Conditions for High-Level Ukraine Visit

Georgian Dream chair Irakli Kobakhidze announced on April 11 that “there is general readiness” for a high-level visit by the ruling party lawmakers to Ukraine, provided Kyiv agrees to three preconditions. 

MP Kobakhidze named the issues the GD would like to see resolved – Ukraine’s dismissed ambassador to Georgia, allegations against the authorities of aiding Russia’s smuggling and Georgian “radical opposition leaders being represented at a high level in the Ukrainian Government.”

The GD chair argued the latter issue is the “most principal,” going on to claim it is “the source of each of these problems – false allegations, the recall of the ambassador.”

For example, MP Kobakhidze named jailed ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili retaining his post as the Chair of the Ukrainian National Reform Council’s Executive Committee, UNM-era Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili being the advisor to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General and UNM-era Deputy Interior Minister Giorgi Lortkipandze being promoted as deputy chief of Ukrainian counterintelligence.

The GD chief further claimed that Davit Arakhamia — parliamentary leader of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party and head of Ukraine’s delegation for peace negotiations — acts as the middleman between the said three persons and top Ukrainian officials.

“Imagine if we had the same, if people recognized by the Ukrainian Government as criminals or the most severe criminals held posts in Georgia,” the GD chair said, referring to criminal cases against Saakashvili, Adeishvili and Lortkipanidze.

As for the allegations of allowing Russia to use Georgia’s territory for smuggling, MP Kobakhidze claimed that Ukrainian officials have opted for a softer tone on the issue, but it “is not enough.”

“When such an accusation comes from the Ukrainian Government, this needs a proper confirmation or denial, none which we have heard,” he added.

The GD chief also argued that “as it turns out, Ukraine remains in démarche” following the recall and subsequent dismissal of its Ambassador to Georgia, Igor Dolhov. 

“In any case, we have not seen any different steps from the Ukrainian authorities since then,” MP Kobakhidze noted.This situation shall of course be amended.” 

In the Georgian Dream leader’s opinion, these three issues are “insulting” to the Georgian state, necessitating a response from Tbilisi.

“As soon as we see progress in these three directions, naturally we can think about conducting a visit on the highest parliamentary level,” MP Kobakhidze stressed.

In the meantime, he said the Georgian Dream party has agreed that certain ruling party lawmakers will pay a visit to Ukraine, but the exact composition of the delegation has not yet been outlined.

The development comes following the controversial refusal of Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili of an invitation by his colleague to visit the town of Bucha, the site of evidenced alleged mass atrocities by Russia.

Meanwhile, the Georgian opposition lawmakers have agreed to a multi-party trip to Ukraine, Vice-Speaker Levan Ioseliani of the Citizens party announced yesterday.

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