Ukrainian Foreign Minister to Await Georgian Ambassador at the Ministry on Tuesday
Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmitry Kuleba, announced during a broadcast that the Georgian ambassador is expected to arrive for a meeting at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday morning.
Earlier on Monday, former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili made a remote appearance in a session of the Tbilisi City Court after a long hiatus. He displayed his emaciated body and addressed the Georgian authorities, calling for an apology for the conditions that led him to such a state. Later, Vladimir Zelensky stated that he instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the Georgian ambassador and express a strong protest regarding the situation with Saakashvili, proposing that the diplomat leave Ukraine within 48 hours for consultations with Tbilisi.
"Tomorrow morning, the Georgian ambassador will be at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where a relevant conversation will take place. He should consult with his government about the direction Georgia is taking and why they are damaging Ukrainian-Georgian relations. They need to do what is necessary to save those relations. We believe that they should stop mistreating Saakashvili and return him there, as he is a citizen of Ukraine," Kuleba stated during a nationwide telethon.
Saakashvili briefly served as the governor of the Odessa region under former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko before being dismissed. According to Poroshenko's statements, Saakashvili not only failed to fulfill his promises regarding the region's development but also significantly worsened its economic indicators. In late July 2017, Poroshenko revoked Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship. The politician received his Ukrainian passport for the second time under Zelensky's presidency.
Saakashvili was arrested in Georgia on October 1, 2021, and is facing several criminal cases. He has been sentenced in absentia to three years of imprisonment for the murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani and six years for the assault of MP Valery Gelashvili. Furthermore, he is a defendant in cases related to the dispersal of an opposition rally on November 7, 2007, the vandalism of the Imedi TV company, misappropriation of funds from the state budget, and illegal border crossing—all of which are currently being reviewed by the courts. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated that Saakashvili will remain in prison for the entire prescribed term.