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Russian lawmaker: "pathological dislike of Russia" prompts Saakashvili’s new appointment

May 31, 2015, 4:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian lawmaker Saakashvili’s appointment as the governor of Odessa region does not fit in into the logic of the country’s unification and refuse of violence in the South-East
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Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko and former Georgia's president Mikhail Saakashvili

Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko and former Georgia's president Mikhail Saakashvili

© Mykola Lazarenko/Ukrainian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, May 31 /TASS/. "Pathological dislike of Russia" rather than managerial skills and talents stands behind the appointment of ex-Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili as the governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region. It is designed to increase and strengthen the anti-Russian course of the Ukrainian authorities, Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev told TASS on Saturday commenting on the Ukrainian president’s latest personnel decision.

Kosachev, the head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for International Affairs, said that the true motives behind Saakshvili’s appointment differed from official reasons (achievements in fighting corruption and facilitating administrative procedures). The more so that his achievements in the post of Georgian president are not so simple and univocal and are openly sad in many cases, Kosachev said.

"A conclusion which is coming to mind is that personal qualities and merits of Mr. Saakashvili were not the main reason behind this personnel decision. It’s his pathological dislike of Russia that was decisive," the Russian lawmaker said adding that Saakashvili’s "bitterness" would "dictate a very tough style of rule" and "would strengthen the anti-Russian course of the Ukrainian authorities which is largely directed against ethnic Russians.

Saakashvili’s appointment as the governor of Odessa region, according to Kosachev, does not fit in into the logic of the country’s unification and departure from the solution of problems by force. "It is a new signal that the Kiev authorities are still aimed at confrontation rather than compromise with part of their own population, which is opposed to the government in Kiev," Kosachev concluded.

A decree on appointment of Georgian ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili as the governor of Ukraine’s southern Odessa region was posted on the website of President Pyotr Poroshenko on Saturday, May 30. Earlier, Saakashvili had been granted the Ukrainian citizenship. Speaking on the appointment, Poroshenko said Saakashvili is "a big friend of Ukraine," and that he expects him to carry out further reforms in the country.

Saakashvili was elected the president of Georgia in January 2004. He left the country in mid-November 2013 - days before the expiration of his presidential term and the inauguration of President Georgy Margvelashvili on November 17, 2013. After his departure from Georgia, Saakashvili stayed in the United States and Ukraine. In recent months, he has been in Kiev working in the rank of the International Reform Council chief.

Georgian prosecutors brought several charges against Saakashvili in 2014, including the crack down on peaceful demonstrators on November 7, 2007; illegal intrusion into the building of the Imedi television channel; illegal acquisition of property belonging to businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili; the organization of an armed attack on deputy Valery Gelashvili in 2005; the cover-up of a crime and falsification of investigation into the 2006 murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani; the misappropriation of state funds in 2009-2012. Saakashvili was put on a police wanted list in Georgia. Later, Georgia’s Prosecutor General’s Office asked Interpol to issue an international warrant for his arrest.

The city of Odessa saw riots on May 2, 2014, during which Right Sector militants (the movement recognised as an extremist organisation in Russia) and so-called "Maidan self-defence" militants from Kiev set ablaze the Trade Unions House, where their opponents had taken shelter, and a tent camp where activists were collecting signatures for a referendum on Ukraine's federalization and for the status of a state language for Russian. The attackers did not let anyone leave the burning Trade Unions House building. Around 48 people were reported dead and 247 injured in the clashes and in the fire in the Trade Unions House.

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