A video of the imprisoned Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili looking visibly emaciated during a live testimony in court provoked a diplomatic confrontation between Tbilisi and Kiev, which accused its traditional ally of acting at the behest of Russia and Russia.
In response to Monday’s clip, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked the Georgian ambassador in Kiev to leave “within 48 hours” to consult with Tbilisi about the transfer of the Georgian leader to Ukraine to receive media treatment.
But Irakli Kobakhidze, head of the ruling party Sueño de Georgia, dismissed on Wednesday the possibility of such a transfer and said that there would be no “consultations” with Kiev.
He added that the decision of Zelensky to return the ambassador of Georgia to Ukraine to Tbilisi to negotiate the transfer of Saakashvili was “crying and humiliating”.
This escalation occurs at a time when relations between the two countries have been significantly strained since the total invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022.
In the first weeks of the war, tens of thousands of Georgians took to the streets of Tbilisi to show their support for Ukraine and resent the decision of the governing party Sueño Georgiano not to join the international sanctions against Russia.
The pro-occidental Saakashvili was arrested on his return to Georgia in October 2021 after nearly a decade abroad, which included a period as regional governor in Ukraine, and sentenced to six years in prison for abuse of authority.
Su Estado de Deterio Desde Su encarcelamiento ha provocado indignación pública en Georgia y en Occidente. Zelensky acuso a rusia de matar a Saakashvili “a manos de las autoridades georgianas”, and senalo quel expressinde Georgiano también tiene ciudadanía ucraniana.
Such accusations are a nod to the founder of the governing party Sueño Georgiano, Bidzina Ivanishvili, an oligarch who has presided over a position more favorable to Russia and the dismantling of many of the country’s key democratic institutions.
“Lo zei sabemos es quel gobierno giorgiano esta jugando un juego de yo-yo [Saakashvili’s] “Sald”, Dijo Alexandre Crivu Astiani, Coordinator de Politica External del Partido de Saakashvili, El Movimiento Nacional Unido (UNM).
“Quando [the government] Necesita un crujido, debilita su salud. There have been protests in front of the clinic where Saakashvili is reclusive, and the UNM is trying to tell the international community everything possible about what is happening.”
The treatment of Saakashvili, as well as the attempts to pass laws inspired by the Kremlin and the major erosion of judicial independence, have overshadowed the aspirations of Georgia to join the European Union.
Last month, the Georgian government was criticized by the conglomerate after it allowed Azimuth Airline, a Russian airline that operates flights to Crimea, annexed to Russia, under the sanctions of Ukraine, to initiate direct flights to Russia from Russia.
Last year, the European Commission put Georgia on the slow path to EU accession, issuing a series of 12 reforms that must be implemented before it can be granted official candidate status. Ukraine and Moldavia, which applied for accession at the same time as Georgia, have obtained candidate status.
President Salome Zurabishvili, elected in 2018 with the support of Georgian Dream, has the power to pardon Saakashvili. Hace dos semanas, dio este paso en el caso de un journalistia encarcelado por cargos que, según sus partisans, tienen politicos motivaciones.
Zurabishvili has declared repeatedly that he will not be involved in the case of Saakashvili, but many Georgians still hope that he will change his opinion. Zurabishvili is an open supporter of the European Union and has manifested in favor of Ukraine, which provoked the anger of the government.
“I don’t think Zurabishvili will forgive Saakashvili”, said Krivo Asatiani. More than once he said that he was opposed to the idea. Pero Cempre Mantengo La Esperanza. Nosotros en la opposition mantenamos esta esperanza.