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Ukraine interior minister sues Saakashvili over theft allegations

December 18, 2015, 8:41 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Governor of the Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili had a quarrel over privatization of the Odessa Portside Plant
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Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, December 18. /TASS/. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said he filed a lawsuit against Governor of the Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili over a conflict that occurred between them at a meeting of the National Reform Council. Avakov made this statement on the Ukrainian TV channel "1 +1" on Friday.

"I filed a lawsuit against Mr. Saakashvili. Because when you say that a person is a thief you should be responsible for this. As far as I know, Mr. (Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy) Yatsenyuk was also going to do it," he said.

Avakov during his speech also apologized to the Ukrainians who have witnessed the conflict. The minister explained that emotions overwhelmed him and he shouted at the governor "in order not to hit him." "There is a standard of morality. If a man shamelessly and blatantly humiliates me publicly, I must publicly respond. I responded so emotionally in order not to hit this man," the minister said.

On Monday, December 14, at a meeting of the National Reform Council reform Avakov and Saakashvili had a quarrel. The verbal altercation occurred during a dispute on the issue of privatization of the Odessa Portside Plant.

Avakov asked Saakashvili a question about his involvement in this process, after which the governor of Odessa started to accuse the minister of corruption and "theft." A glass of water thrown by Avakov at Saakashvili ended the dispute. The quarrel was accompanied by obscene words. Later, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stood up for the head of the Odessa region and urged the interior minister "to avoid xenophobia", but the interior minister did not agree with the president.

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