Former President of Georgia and ex-Governor of the Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili announced his upcoming appointment as head of the Executive Committee of the National Council of reforms of Ukraine. He told Deutsche Welle on May 6.
Saakashvili’s appointment was reported by Ukrainian media earlier in the day. The politician clarified that he will not take the post of Executive Committee Secretary, as it was claimed, but will head the Committee. The exact date of the appointment, he did not report, but the media write that it will happen on may 6.
According to journalist Yuriy Butusov, this appointment of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky “gives Saakashvili a state status, a platform for voicing initiatives or criticism, which Saakashvili can moderate”, as well as “unlimited opportunities to comment on any state issues on TV channels”. In the near future, the former Georgian leader does not plan “any sharp political movements” and intends to “define his agenda,” Butusov wrote on Facebook.
On April 22, Saakashvili said that Zelensky had offered him the post of Deputy Prime Minister for reforms. Two days later, he accepted the offer-the politician was assigned to negotiate with the International monetary Fund and other international financial organizations.
However, later the media pointed out that the appointment of the Georgian politician would contradict Ukrainian laws, because Saakashvili has outstanding criminal records in Georgia, and one criminal case is under investigation. At home, the politician’s possible appointment was condemned, threatening to recall the Ukrainian Ambassador to Tbilisi.
As a result, on April 28, the Ukrainian government withdrew a submission from the Verkhovna Rada to appoint Saakashvili as Deputy Prime Minister for reforms. On April 30, the head of the Pro-presidential faction “Servant of the people” David Arahamia said that the former President of Georgia will get another position.
Saakashvili, who became the third President of Georgia in 2008, left his homeland in 2013 after his term expired. In 2015, at that time, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko granted the politician citizenship and appointed him Governor of the Odessa region. A year later, Saakashvili was dismissed for the deterioration of the economic indicators of the region and deprived of Ukrainian citizenship.
In September 2017, Saakashvili illegally entered Ukraine from Poland, but in February 2018, he was detained and deported back. Zelensky returned Ukrainian citizenship to the Georgian politician in the first month of his presidency.