The former President and the most wanted criminal in Georgia, ex-Governor of Odessa region of Ukraine, an implacable enemy of Petro Poroshenko and a fighter with oligarchs — Mikhail Saakashvili returned to big-time Ukrainian politics. And immediately appeared in the center of an international scandal. Tbilisi withdrew from Kiev Ambassador, what were warned President Vladimir Zelensky. But even the rupture of relations with the partner country did not stop the Ukrainian leader in an effort to get his team the controversial policy. Zelensky why it took such a problematic ally, and what to expect from Saakashvili in his new post — in the article “Tape.ru”.
The new head of the Ukrainian policy with the participation of Saakashvili started in April. 22 the number of former Georgian leader said that Zelensky invited him to join the presidential team as Vice Prime Minister for reforms, and it is to this proposal agreed.
According to Saakashvili, he expected the coordination of the negotiations of Kiev with the International monetary Fund (IMF) and the curating programme of deregulation, which was supposed to ease the conditions for conducting small and medium business and reduce the tax burden on him. Himself Zelensky these statements did not comment. The fact that the Ukrainian President has limited influence on the appointment of members of the government.
Being familiar with the Ukrainian legislation, Saakashvili was quick to assure that its future work in the Ukrainian government he had discussed with the Prime Minister Denis Megalam. However, the Prime Minister himself did not confirm, nor denied the fact of negotiations with Saakashvili.
Last April 24 meeting of the former President with the deputies from the "public Servants" showed that the President's faction is no unanimous support for the appointment of the Saakashvili government. This question was not even put on the agenda in Parliament. Commentators then suspected that, finding no support even in his own faction, Zelensky decided to withdraw the appointment of the controversial policy. The emergence of such rumors contributed to the sharp reaction of the Georgian authorities, where the former President still wanted as a person involved in criminal cases of Tbilisi, Kiev threatened to review relations and the recall of the Ambassador.
However, later the head of the faction "people's Servant" David Arakhamiya denied these suspicions. He spoke about the long negotiations Zelensky with the former Georgian leader. Arakhamia expressed confidence that the two politicians managed to come to a common denominator, agreeing on another form of joint work.
Zelensky and soon signed a decree appointing Saakashvili. However, a member of the government he did not become a politician took office as the head of the Executive Committee of reforms. The Ukrainian leader will emphasizel that this will be a "new impetus" to the process of government reforms in Ukraine. Georgia has recalled its Ambassador, and threatened, however, Kiev was not to respond in kind.
The reform Council was established in August 2014, the previous President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko was supposed to be a consultative body that deals with strategic planning of state policy reform and its implementation. Head of the Council is the head of state, he forms part of. But the Department turned out in fact "stillborn" and spent only 28 unremarkable meetings. The last was held in March 2018, under the presidency of Poroshenko.
With Ukraine, Saakashvili linked in quite some time. In 1984, after graduating from school he entered the faculty of international relations of Kyiv University, where in those same years, he studied his future political opponent Petro Poroshenko. In 2004, the then acting President of Georgia has actively supported the "orange revolution" and even personally visited the protests on the Maidan. Left the politician on the sidelines and during the second Maidan expressing his support to Poroshenko, after the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych.
At the same time, the Georgian Prosecutor's office announced policy on the international wanted list, accused of embezzlement of funds and abuse of office. Saakashvili decided not to return home, accepting the offer Poroshenko to join his team. First, in February 2015, he became an adviser to the President, and in may of the same year he received Ukrainian citizenship and on the following day he was appointed Governor of the Odessa region.
There, Saakashvili launched a vigorous activity. However, with the reforms she was involved quite indirectly. The politician dismissed the majority of heads of regional administrations, replacing them with foreign experts, primarily on natives of Georgia, who held government posts during his presidency. Soon the main occupation Saakashvili became the Central criticism of the Ukrainian authorities. He actively criticized the oligarchs, especially Ihor Kolomoisky, politicians working for the oligarchs, and then Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. It Saakashvili called the main promoter of the interests of big business.
Then there was a conflict with interior Minister Arsen Avakov, called the debate on privatization of Odessa port. The skirmish occurred at a meeting of the reform Council, which is now assigned to Saakashvili. He said the Minister of one of the main corruption in the country, and he called the Governor "bastard" and "bitch". In addition, Avakov and Saakashvili argued, who of them are more Ukrainian.
But one Yatsenyuk Saakashvili was not enough. In November 2016, he resigned from the gubernatorial post, explaining it is incompatible��lesiem with the political course of the country's leadership. He announced the intention to create a new political force, accusing Poroshenko in corruption and the inability to conduct real reforms. The party "new force" immediately went into deep opposition, declared the main goal of impeachment.
Predictable Poroshenko regime used all administrative resources to get rid of well-known and experienced opposition, once successfully replace the current government. 19 Jul 2017 Saakashvili was deprived of Ukrainian citizenship policies allegedly submitted false information in a Declaration filled out upon receipt of the passport. And since his Georgian passport revoked much earlier, the politician was a person without citizenship.
Saakashvili himself at that time was in the USA. He then visited Hungary, Lithuania and Poland. According to the former Georgian President, to move he used his old Ukrainian passport.
Soon, Saakashvili tried to break back through the Ukrainian-Polish border with a group of his supporters, who staged a fight with the guards. While there were courts in the case of the breakthrough of the border, Saakashvili has applied for obtaining of refugee status, which allowed to obtain a temporary and dubious, but the legal basis reside on the territory of Ukraine. He immediately began a political campaign, urging Ukrainians once again to take to the streets and seek the resignation of Poroshenko.
5 Dec Saakashvili was arrested in Kiev, accusing him of receiving money from the environment Yanukovych, to overthrow the incumbent authorities. No decision on this case and was not accepted. Saakashvili has used every trial as a platform for political speeches, simultaneously bombarding the public authorities of requests for political asylum. The courts were accompanied by mass rallies of his supporters demanding the impeachment of Poroshenko. In the end, the Kiev authorities simply deported him to Poland, where he never returned to victory Zelensky.
the hidden agendas
After the conflict with Poroshenko, Saakashvili has repeatedly stated that it still has political ambitions in Ukraine. His party "the Movement of new forces," planned to participate in last summer 2019 parliamentary election campaign, however, on 23 June, the CEC has removed it from elections.
Despite the fact that two days later the decision was reversed, Saakashvili urged his supporters to maintain political power Zelensky "servant of the people". He even said that he came to Ukraine specifically to help the future chief of the state in carrying out the necessary reforms, but only as a consultant.
Special political points he's brought. "The movement of new forces" — the party of marginal and small, supporters Zelensky and so ��transported at the peak of popularity in such a small support is not needed. The desire of the former President to show loyalty went unnoticed, too controversial and scandalous figure of Saakashvili.
Attention from the political activities of former President of Georgia in Ukraine have diverted the pogroms that were organized by his supporters at home. The formal reason was the opening of the session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, under the chairmanship of the Russian Deputy Sergey Gavrilov. He took the speaker's chair that was very much the representatives of the Georgian opposition. Rally their supporters began near the hotel, where we had to evacuate the delegation from Moscow, and the evening escalated into a demonstration of disagreement with the policy of the current authorities of Georgia.
The President, Salome Zurabishvili and other senior officials of the state pointed to Saakashvili as one of the culprits. The fact that the main participant clashes became members of the "United national movement" (UNM) party, founded by then-future President of Georgia in the early 2000s after his move in opposition to his predecessor, President Eduard Shevardnadze. Now UNM is also in opposition with the party "European Georgia", founded by immigrants from political power Saakashvili.
He still is in the END a high position. Until March of 2019 in the party holding the chair free for its founder, and after the failure of the former President and his return to Ukraine gave him the status of "founder and honorary Chairman". However, in Kiev, such recognition is not received — Zelensky only reversed the decree Poroshenko on depriving Saakashvili of citizenship, but no longer paid attention to his attempts to comment on the further political process.
Now the ratings of the new Ukrainian authorities are falling, the Cabinet of Dennis Smagala abundance of bright individuals. And then Saakashvili for a number of reasons can be very useful to the President. The fact that such a decision Zelensky has not found support neither in the Cabinet nor in the "Servant of the people", to explain quite easily. Apparently, Parliament simply did not take responsibility for the appointment of a person to whose statements often radical and unpredictable.
But the President's team still managed to find a compromise. Place in the Executive Committee of the reform, firstly, does not require the consent of Parliament. And secondly, after all, does not involve real power, unlike the governors or the Vice-Premiership. No specific Saakashvili on this post will not answer, only to make recommendations for reform and to criticize those who inhibits. Here the scandal of the former Georgian President can be very useful.
a non-Obvious tasks
Endorsing Saakashvili in the role of head of the Executive Committee of the reform Council, Zelensky receives, first of all, the media hyped a "lawyer" of its policy. And especially not in this country and in the West. The European and American partners of Ukraine, Saakashvili has a reputation as a reformer. This appointment shows the Ukrainian leader that is ready to attract experienced consultants. And approval for his policies on the part of Saakashvili will follow the softening response of the Western partners.
In addition, policies may not only approve the course Zelensky. Now in light of the fact that regions removed or simply ignore the quarantine restrictions of the government, not looking at the actions of the Cabinet, the Zelensky has intensified the conflict with the local authorities. Saakashvili will be an outstanding critic of the political opponents of the President from among the governors and mayors. This will allow you to shift the attention from the upper echelons of power at the regional, which is closer to the people.
It is also worth noting another foreign policy aspect of this assignment. As noted in conversation with "ru" the Director of the Center for the study of Ukrainian politics (TSIUP) Maxim Semenov, first Saakashvili should help to improve relations with the elites of Washington. Politician closely associated with the leadership of the Democratic party of the United States and, in particular, with the current candidate for President of the United States from her Joseph Biden. And he has a "tooth" on the current Kiev authorities, who began to investigate cases of withdrawal through oil company Burisma, the Board of Directors which included Biden, Jr.
With the epidemic of the coronavirus position of the current US President Donald trump may falter, and he will face challenges to re-election. Keeping in mind such a scenario, the Ukrainian elite tried to find allies among the leadership of the Democratic party, which had supported the regime of Poroshenko, that is, the current Ukrainian opposition. Saakashvili for such a task is ideal. Close relationship it is associated not only with Biden, but, for example, David Petraeus, who served as CIA Director during the presidency of Barack Obama.
However, not even having started the work, the ex-Governor and the President have managed to create problems for Kiev. In Tbilisi on the possible appointment of Saakashvili reacted strongly, even when the information went to the level of rumors. Prime Minister George Gakharia said that in the case of the adoption by the Ukrainian authorities of such decision of Tbilisi will withdraw its Ambassador in Kiev. The Georgian side emphasized the criminal case against Saakashvili and warned that it will seriously complicate relations between the two countries.
After the signing of the decree Zelensky Georgian Ambassador was recalled from Kiev. However, foreign Minister David Salcianu ��have technyl that to break off diplomatic relations or to reconsider a strategic partnership Georgia does not intend, as in Tbilisi believe in "friendship, sharing the aspirations and goals of the two countries". Zelensky refused to answer the mirror and recalled that Saakashvili is still a citizen of Ukraine.
However, the complication of relations with Georgia is not the most serious thing that Saakashvili can deliver Zelensky. Yes, now a politician with him on one side, but the ambition of the former President does not give him long to sit quietly in the designated area. Ukraine Zelensky is still similar to that of Ukraine Poroshenko, which so fiercely wanted to fight Saakashvili. For a year of stay in power the team's new leader did not able to do with the influence of the oligarchs, especially Kolomoisky.
In addition, the team Zelensky quite a motley and still have not learned to work as a single organism. Question Saakashvili has split the presidential faction in the Parliament, and its expressivity can drive a wedge between the President and many of his associates. But if Saakashvili will be able to take a strong position in negotiations with the Americans, it is so easy to get rid of it is not released.
However, while the controversial politician can only benefit. In addition to improving relations with the West, he would tackle the long-standing conflict with Poroshenko. And it is unlikely the so-called "Pro-Russian" part of the Ukrainian opposition led by Viktor Medvedchuk, a well-known close relationship with Vladimir Putin will be satisfied with the appointment of an ardent opponent to improve relations with Moscow. Inevitably, conflict breaks out politicians of the old format that will attract the attention of the public that would give the team Zelensky breathing space to find new, but competent persons.