Ukraine Charge d’affaires Tries to See Hope amid Kyiv, Tbilisi Disagreements

Andrii Kasianov, Ukraine’s charge d’affaires in Georgia, penned an article in European Pravda on Jan. 9, discussing the difficulties and trends in Georgia-Ukraine relations.

The provision of arms to Ukraine, the introduction of a system of bilateral sanctions against the Russian Federation, the introduction of a visa requirement for Russian citizens who are fleeing in large numbers to Georgia, the observance of the legal rights and interests of imprisoned Mikheil Saakashvili, are among the issues on which Georgia and Ukraine continue to have significant disagreements, Kasianov writes.

Georgia refused weapon transfers

Kasianov says Georgia declined Kyiv’s request for the transfer of the BUK (SA-17 “Grizzly” by NATO specification) air-defense systems, given to Georgia by Ukraine during the 2008 war. He also said a similar request for the U.S.-made FGM-148 Javelin was also denied despite the U.S. accord and a promise to replace those systems in Georgia’s stocks with more modern variants.

“Despite the fact that the Georgian government categorically refused to provide military aid, Ukraine opposes the use of this issue in internal political disputes and rejects any accusations of attempts to draw Georgia into a war with the Russian Federation,” Kasianov noted.

Saakashvili issue “humanitarian, rather than political”

Mikheil Saakashvili, apart from being Georgia’s third president, is also a Ukrainian citizen. Kasianov writes that Ukraine is thus working to protect Saakashvilis rights and interests. The diplomat says Kyiv asked the Georgian government repeatedly to transfer Saakashvili to a leading hospital in Europe or the U.S. so that he can receive lifesaving treatment, “considering the obvious severe health condition and negative trends.” Kasianov stresses that Saakashvili’s life and health are humanitarian, rather than political issues.

Russians in Georgia “ardent supporters of Putin”

Updating his compatriots about the influx of Russian immigrants to Georgia, Kasianov speaks about associated dramatic rental price increases, which make life difficult for the Ukrainian refugees. He says the Ukrainians mostly use Georgia as a transit country. He also writes that new Russian arrivals in Georgia are the “ardent supporters of Putin and his policy of genocide of the Ukrainian population.”

From the financial side, Kasianov says that “prices are much higher [in Georgia] than in Ukraine and many European capitals, but earning opportunities and wages remain low,” making it difficult for Ukrainians to carry on living in Georgia.

Positive Developments

Andrii Kasianov praised the Georgian volunteers who are sacrificing their lives fighting in the Ukrainian Armed Forces against a “common treacherous enemy.” On the bright side of the interstate relations, Kasianov also emphasized the countries’ mutual political support for one another on the international scene, the opening of four Ukrainian sections in public schools in the cities of Tbilisi and Batumi, assistance with housing for Ukrainians, free transportation and medical services for Ukrainian refugees, etc. 

Kasianov also dwells on the Georgian government and CSOs’ delivery of generators to Ukraine and emphasized the role of the Georgian Patriarchate in providing aid to Ukraine. “It comes from representatives of the government, the opposition, and cultural icons, as well as from regular individuals and the Georgian Orthodox Church,”  Kasianov said.

“Russia’s large-scale aggression has clearly demonstrated that the common enemy, which brazenly seized the sovereign territories of both Ukraine and Georgia, must be confronted with solidarity, mutual support on the widest possible range of issues, unity and cohesion, and leave all disagreements and disputes until a complete and irreversible victory over it,” Kasianov finished the article.


The Ministry of Defense of Georgia shifted focus to some media implying that BUK systems were “donated” by Ukraine. MoD said they were purchased by Georgia, as were the U.S. ‘Javelin’ missiles. As for the transfer of weapons to Ukraine, MoD said the “Georgian government has repeatedly voiced its clear position” on the matter.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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