Government Statements Denounce Wanted Ex-Georgian Official Visits to Berlin, Brussels

The Georgian Government issued two separate statements on March 11 denouncing UNM-era former Chief Prosecutor and Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili’s inclusion in the official Ukrainian delegations to Brussels and Berlin. One statement was directed towards Ukrainian authorities, while the other responded to earlier statements on the issue made by the German Embassy in Tbilisi and the EU Delegation to Georgia.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia said that Foreign Minister Ilia Darchiashvili met with the German and the EU Ambassadors, conveying the Georgian side’s concerns to the diplomats regarding Adeishvili’s visits.

Earlier the German and the EU official representations in Georgia made statements about the visit of Adeishvili, who has been sentenced in absentia in Georgia on several criminal charges, to Berlin and Brussels as part of the Ukrainian delegation. Adeishvili’s appearance in the delegations led to harsh criticism from the Georgian authorities. Germany cited lack of legal ground for banning Adeishvili, while the EU spoke of disinformation around the visit.

Georgian Government on Ukraine

“We wish to express deep concern regarding the attitude demonstrated by the Ukrainian authorities towards the friendly country of Georgia and its people,” the Government of Georgia said in a statement on March 11, adding that “for a considerable time” Tbilisi was refraining from “taking a stance on the attitude” of Ukrainian authorities due to the ongoing war.

The Georgian government recalled the country’s “consistent” solidarity with Ukraine, and noted that against this background, several decisions of the Ukrainian authorities are “regrettable and deeply troubling”. The Georgian government emphasized Ukraine recalling its Ambassador from Georgia, Kyiv “forcing” the Georgian Ambassador to leave the country, as well as Ukraine’s statements regarding the imprisoned third president Saakashvili, and the appointment of individuals wanted by Georgia to high offices in Ukraine.

The Georgian government said it was “perplexed” by Ukraine’s mentioned decisions, “which appear to artificially drive a wedge between two historically friendly nations and peoples.”

The Georgian government reiterated its call on Ukraine to reconsider its decisions and extradite the wanted individuals to Georgia. “We hold a deep conviction that regardless of the decisions made by politicians, nothing can undermine the profound historical friendship between our countries and peoples.”

Georgian Government on Germany, EU

The Government said Adeishvili was “a mastermind behind the repressive regime” under the United National Movement (UNM) and his admission into EU and Germany’s premises “undermines the perception that European bureaucracy remains loyal to the ideals of a legal statehood.”

The Government of Georgia argued that the incident contradicts the very first step of the nine steps defined by the European Commission for Georgia, which according to Tbilisi “envisages a prevention of anti-European attitudes being augmented in Georgia.”

“Similarly, unrestricted mobility of other offenders and fugitives” within the EU “fuels anti-European sentiments,” the Government said, adding that “there is a grounded assumption” that some of these individuals are engaged in “gravest criminal activities” against the EU citizens as well.

Georgia called on the EU to continue “greater consideration and commitment” to its foundational values.

MFA of Georgia

According to the Georgian MFA, Adeishvili’s visits to Europe causes “legitimate concern” of the Georgian society, and “does not contribute to the effectiveness of efforts directed against anti-Western sentiments.”

At the meeting with the EU and German Ambassadors, the Georgian side expressed hope that both the EU and its member states will have appropriate reactions to such incidents in the future.

On February 22, Adeishvili, who has been sentenced in absentia in Georgia on several criminal charges, was seen sitting next to the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany and Ukraine’s Chief Prosecutor in the German Bundestag, at a session discussing the delivery of long-range weapons to Ukraine. A few days later, he accompanied the Ukrainian delegation to a meeting in Brussels, with Gert Jan Koopman, Director General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, leading to condemnation from the ruling Georgian Dream and demands for explanations from the EU and Germany.

Zurab Adeishvili, a highly influential figure in former President Saakashvili’s inner circle, left Georgia a day after the October 2012 parliamentary elections, that resulted the nation’s first peaceful transfer of power through elections since regaining independence in 1991. The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office put Adeishvili on wanted list in 2013 on several counts but still fails to achieve his extradition. In 2015, Interpol dropped red notice for him, which was issued in 2013. After the Maidan in Ukraine, Adeishvili reportedly moved to Ukraine, according to the latest information on his whereabouts, he is working for the Ukrainian authorities.

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


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