Raul Kiria: "Absence of Ukrainian Ambassador to Georgia is serious political decision of Kiev"

Giorgi Kalatozishvili, Tbilisi. Exclusively for Vestnik Kavkaza
Raul Kiria: "Absence of Ukrainian Ambassador to Georgia is serious political decision of Kiev"

There is no Ukrainian Ambassador to Tbilisi for already two years. The Georgian expert living in Ukraine, Raul Kiria, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the root causes of the protracted diplomatic conflict between Tbilisi and Kiev.

- Raul, when did it become clear to you and your colleagues, working in Kiev, that the absence of Ukrainian ambassador to Tbilisi, goes beyond "a technical problem" and becomes a diplomatic demarche on the part of Ukraine?

- Time is the main indicator. When a friendly country does not appoint an ambassador for two years, it cannot be explained by any technical reasons like personnel problems, or the inconsistency between departments. It is obvious that the Ukrainian leadership has decided not to appoint an Ambassador and thereby reduce the rank of its diplomatic mission in Georgia. The term of office of the former Ambassador of Ukraine Vasyl Tsybenko has expired a ling time ago, Georgi Nazarov is Ukraine's charge d'affaires in Georgia, but they do not appoint a new ambassador. It is a very serious political and diplomatic decision of Ukraine's senior management - not to appoint an ambassador. Moreover, Georgia did not reduce the rank of its diplomatic mission in Kiev.

- What does this diplomatic conflict mean?

- It means that in recent years, our countries lost the desire for strategic cooperation, despite the proximity of interests and similarity of problems. This also affects the economic cooperation and specific business projects, which would benefit both countries.

- What is the essence of the diplomatic conflict?

- The reason is Mikhail Saakashvili's irrepressible activity. Georgian officials have repeatedly protested about the fact that the former Georgian president, who is accused under four articles of the criminal code, has become a high-ranking Ukrainian official, which continued to interfere in the internal affairs of Georgia made radical anti-government statements. The Georgian authorities have repeatedly "give an admonition" over this issue to Ambassador Tsybenko. The President, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia refused to visit Ukraine for official or working visits due to Saakashvili's actions. In recent years, there were no visits of any Ukrainian high-ranking officials to Tbilisi. Apparently, Kiev found permanent rejections and the lack of public support offensive in the current circumstances.

- But the Georgian authorities also considered the Odessa Governor's call for a revolution in Georgia as insulting and unfriendly act (although they did not talked about it publicly). But the Georgian leadership did not reduce the rank of its diplomatic mission in Kiev ...

- I think that these problems will be gradually "settled after Saakashvili resigned from the governor's office and moved into a rigid opposition to President Poroshenko. Previously, when Saakashvili was considered a friend and associate of the President of Ukraine, the personal factors played an excessive role. Now they have been removed. Saakashvili will not be able to interfere in the Georgian-Ukrainian relations to the same extent as before.