Kyiv Accuses Georgian Government of ‘Speculating’ with Ukrainian War

Oleg Nikolenko, the Spokesperson of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, said on December 20 that “we are deeply disappointed that Georgian authorities are speculating on the war in Ukraine to achieve their narrow domestic political goals.” 

Shortly before Nikolenko’s remarks, Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairperson of the ruling Georgian Dream party, responded to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s calls to transfer the imprisoned former President of Georgia and citizen of Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili abroad, saying that “the Ukrainian government was directly involved in a special operation on sending Saakashvili to Georgia that fortunately failed.”   

Earlier, Mamuka Mdinaradze, chairperson of the Georgian Dream Parliamentary faction, said Saakashvili returned to Georgia back in 2021 as a result of a special operation, the organizers of which are now behind President Zelenskyy’s statement as well.  

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson noted that “Ukraine has never intervened and does not intend to interfere in Georgia’s internal affairs,” and added that Georgian politicians turn to “speculations […] to try to remove their responsibility for gross human rights violations in Georgia.”

Nikolenko also called on the Georgian authorities to grant access to Saakashvili to the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets and provide proper medical aid to the Ukrainian citizen.  

“We also urge to satisfy the concerns of postponing his sentence for transfer to one of the Ukrainian, Western European, or American clinics for the purpose of undergoing treatment,” he added.  

Saakashvili arrived secretly in Georgia in late September 2021 after eight years in exile and was arrested on 1 October 2021, on the eve of local elections. He has been convicted of two cases in absentia and faces charges in three more. He denies all charges as politically motivated.  

On December 22, the court will deliberate on whether Saakashvili’s sentence should be suspended or deferred because of his rapidly deteriorating health. 

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