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Saakashvili making political comeback in Ukraine, Georgia threatens to recall envoy from Kiev

Saakashvili making political comeback in Ukraine, Georgia threatens to recall envoy from Kiev

Georgia’s former leader Mikhail Saakashvili on Friday said he'd accepted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s offer to become a deputy prime minister in charge of reforms. Saakashvili, who was the president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013, told reporters that Zelensky specifically asked him to conduct talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Last year, Zelensky restored the Ukrainian citizenship of Saakashvili, who also served as governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region in 2015-2016.

The new job offer to Saakashvili angered the government of Georgia, led by his political foes. “Saakashvili’s appointment by the country that is our strategic partner is categorically unacceptable for us,” Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia was quoted as saying.

Gakharia noted that Saakashvili has been convicted by a Georgian court and a warrant has been issued for his arrest, AP reported. The PM added that Georgia will recall its ambassador from Kiev “at least for consultations” if the appointment is made.