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Georgia Summons Ukraine Ambassador Over Saakashvili Appointment

  • RFE/RL's Georgian Service

TBILISI -- Ukraine’s Ambassador to Georgia Vasyl Tsybenko has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry for explanations regarding the appointment of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as the head of the Ukrainian president’s Advisory Council.

Georgian Foreign Ministry spokesman Davit Kereselidze told reporters on February 16 that Ukraine is "Georgia's strategic partner" and Tsybenko's "invitation" to the ministry should not be interpreted as a problem in relations.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced on February 13 the establishment of the International Advisory Council on Reforms and appointed Saakashvili to lead it.

Saakashvili left Georgia after his presidency ended in November 2013.

Officials in Georgia have charged him in absentia with abuse of office and with organizing an attack on a lawmaker.

In August, Georgian Prosecutor-General's Office began seeking an Interpol warrent, or red notice, for Saakashvili.

Saakashvili's lawyer, Otar Kakhidze, wrote on Twitter on February 16 that the president of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, U.S. Congressman Mike Turner, and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament Elmar Brok had called on Interpol to reject the request.

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