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Saakashvili Says Rejects Ukraine Goverment Post

  • RFE/RL's Georgian Service

TBILISI -- Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says has rejected a deputy prime minister’s post in Ukraine.

Georgia's Rustavi 2 television on December 1 cited Saakashvili as saying he would not take the post because it would require him to renounce Georgian citizenship in order to become a citizen of Ukraine.

Ukrainian media had reported earlier that Saakashvili, who is hated by Russia's leadership, could be offered the post in a government to be formed after the victory of pro-Western parties in Ukraine's parliamentary election last month.

Media reports in Ukraine on December 2 said that two members of Saakashvili's former government, Aleksandr Kvitashvili and Eka Zguladze, had been named by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's bloc as potential candidates for the posts of health minister and deputy interior minister, respectively.

Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Kakha Kaladze said on December 2 that it would be "painful" to see former Georgian officials, some of whom are suspects in crimes, in Ukraine's government.

Saakashvili, whose term ended in 2013 after nearly a decade in office, has been charged with several crimes by the government that came to power after his party's defeat in a 2012 parliamentary election.

He and members of his former government say the charges against them are politically motivated.

Saakashvili lives in self-imposed exile in the United States.