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Sworn friends: Ukrainian confrontation between Poroshenko and Saakashvili

  • Sworn friends Ukrainian confrontation between Poroshenko and Saakashvili

Kyiv: For more than a month, the Ukrainian public has been closely watching the situation unique for our country. In late July, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a decree depriving Ukrainian citizenship of Saakashvili. Although Saakashvili claimed in autumn 2016 that such a plan in the presidential administration is ready, but little was believed in its implementation. Now the ex-head of Odessa Regional State Administration travels by European states and promises to cross the Ukrainian border already on September 10.

And while the society is waiting for "Day C", Front News International understands exactly where the ways of the two friends-presidents have gone and whether Saakashvili has the chances to restore his citizenship.

At the turn of the 90-ies of the twentieth century in the Institute of International Relations of the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University happened just an extraordinary coincidence of circumstances. In 1989, with honors he graduated from Peter Poroshenko - the future president of Ukraine. Three years later, with the same red diploma, the university left Saakashvili, the future president of Georgia. Before the events that would lead both to the forefront of international politics, it remained more than ten years, and at that time they, ordinary acquaintances from one university, had not yet imagined that life would bring them together more than once.

Their political career was developing headlong. In 2000, businessman Poroshenko created his own party, and Saakashvili has already become the Minister of Justice of Georgia. For four years, the Orange Revolution rattled in Ukraine, led by Yushchenko, Tymoshenko and Poroshenko, and Saakashvili, already in the rank of president of Georgia, came to Kyiv to support the democratic aspirations of Ukrainians. Until the end of the cadence of Michel, his old friend Peter firmly settled in Ukraine as a well-known politician and millionaire. And only a few months after EuroMeidan, to which Saakashvili also visited several times, Poroshenko received the maximum position possible at that time in Ukraine - the post of president.

After the new Georgian government launched criminal proceedings against Saakashvili, it became clear that he could not remain in the country. Poroshenko invited him to his team at once. As it turned out later, more for one more famous person than for real changes. In May 2015, Saakashvili received Ukrainian citizenship from the hands of the president and immediately became chairman of the Odessa Regional State Administration. However, it was clear that a politician of this magnitude would not stop there. His initiatives in office have not been implemented, corruption at customs has not been overcome, the Odessa region has not become a real example for the development of other regions. Meanwhile, the former Georgian president got into a confrontation with almost all leading politicians of the country, consistently criticizing Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Arsen Avakov, Igor Kononenko, and later Poroshenko himself for inaction, contributing to corruption.

For a long time Saakashvili's position did not hold out: in November 2016 he resigned and created his own party - "Rukh Novykh Sil" with a view to go to parliament. The fight against corruption loomed as the main accent of political power, it expanded and sought allies, and Saakashvili himself was allegedly quite serious. However, on July 26, two years before the election, Poroshenko signed a decree on depriving the ex-head of the Odessa Regional State Administration of Ukrainian citizenship.

The stumbling block in relations between politicians was undoubtedly the very active position of Saakashvili in such a high position. Known for his oratorical art, as well as populist statements, Saakashvili tried to attract the electorate. Criticizing the highest levels of power, including Poroshenko's inner circle, he essentially directed the president himself, who cares about his own image, most of all. Against the backdrop of scandals with off-shores, heavy progress in judicial and law enforcement reforms, coalition unrest, stagnation in the investigation of Maidan's shootings and the fall of the power rating, Poroshenko took Saakashvili as a threat capable of achieving, if not early elections, unambiguously the creation of a strong opposition. This would strike the incapacitated BPP, and consequently, the ratings of the guarantor himself. Nevertheless, the figures for the support of the "Rukhu novyih forces" at the same time remained not too high.

An interesting fact is that in the active work of Saakashvili in 2015-2016, always amicable Georgia and Ukraine severely restricted their bilateral relations. No official visit of high-ranking officials, requests for extradition, a temporary solicitor instead of an ambassador in Georgia - Saakashvili caused tension between the two countries that were going the general way from the collapse of the USSR. And right after his dismissal from the post of head of the State Administration, the relationship instantly stabilized. The ambassador is appointed, Poroshenko arrives in Tbilisi, Saakashvili is deprived of citizenship and de jure is a stateless person. There are also rumors about the possible deportation of Mikheil to Georgia while trying to cross the Ukrainian border.

Nevertheless, Poroshenko's actions in such a situation are surprising. Usually cautious in both statements and actions, he signed a decree as a bolt from the blue sky while Saakashvili was far abroad - in the US. According to official data, this was done in accordance with Article 21 of the Law of Ukraine "On Citizenship of Ukraine", appealing to the fact that Saakashvili concealed the facts of criminal record in Georgia when completing the questionnaire in 2015. But the fact that Poroshenko could not have known about this during the solemn ceremony of transfer of the passport and the fact that the migration service "woke up" so suddenly and in time for the authorities makes only a mistrustful smile.

On September 10 Saakashvili is going to return to Ukraine and open a new season of "soap opera", where he and Poroshenko play the main roles. And the only thing you can not doubt is that on this day the Ukrainian society will sit in front of the TV screens, waiting for bread and entertainment from those who really should wait for work in favor of the state and its people.

Vladislav Urubkov, Front News International


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