The Georgian Foreign Ministry announced on January 25 that it had summoned Andrii Kasianov, Ukraine’s charge d’affaires in Georgia, to provide an explanation for the remarks he made a day earlier. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry reported on the same day that the Georgian Ambassador George Zakarashvili met Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Yevhen Perebyinis.
In his interview with “Європейська правда”, Kasianov “did not rule out” that the possible resumption of flights between Georgia and Russia could prompt evacuation of the Ukrainian citizens from Georgia. Georgian Deputy Minister Lasha Darsalia noted that the remarks were “groundless and harm bilateral relations.” The Georgian Foreign Ministry reported that the sides pledged to further develop the relations between the two countries, adding that Kyiv “is grateful for the assistance provided by Georgia.”
On January 24, MP Irakli Kobakhidze, leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, called Kasianov’s remarks a “shameful speculation” and stressed that “Ukraine might have had to evacuate its citizens from Georgia if we had supplied Buk air defense systems (SA-17 Gadfly) to Ukraine, which would have meant our involvement in a military conflict.”
Meeting in Kyiv
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that while meeting the Georgian envoy, Deputy Minister Perebyinis “expressed hope that Georgia will change its position and join those partners who provide Ukraine with weapons and military equipment and that Tbilisi will join all the sanctions introduced by the EU against the aggressor state.” Kyiv also reported that the Georgian Ambassador assured hosts that “Georgia has no intention to renew flights to the Russian Federation.”
The Ukrainian side reportedly thanked Georgia for helping with electricity generators and for launching rehabilitation projects for the Ukrainian children. Perebyinis also “raised the issue of deteriorating health” of Mikheil Saakashvili and broached the possibility of his transfer and treatment in Ukraine or another country.