TBILISI, DFWatch–Nino Burjanadze, former speaker of the Georgian parliament who twice served as acting president, has been declared ‘persona non grata’ by Ukraine, according to a Tbilisi-based radio station.
The reason is Burjanadze’s statements about Crimea during a trip to Moscow in early July, particularly things she said during a meeting with Sergei Naryshkin, the speaker of the Russian Duma.
“Crimea is part of Russia. I can say that I do not see any chance of Ukraine getting it back,” Burdjanadze said in one of her interviews in Moscow.
“This is not a pro-Russian stance, it’s just a statement of fact… I do not think there are signs that people in Crimea were forced to vote [in favor of joining Russia]. For me it was not a surprise,” Burjanadze said.
According to Pirveliradio, several organizations, including the right wing Right Sector, sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine demanding to ban Burjanadze from entering the country because of her unfriendly statements towards Ukraine’s statehood.
The ministry forwarded the letter to the Security Service of Ukraine and after getting a response, decided to prohibit Burjanadze from entering the country.
Burjanadze is currently leader of the party Democratic Movement, which has around ten percent support. She was speaker of parliament and twice served briefly as acting president, in 2003-2004 and 2007-2008. In 2010, she went to Moscow and met with President Vladimir Putin, at a time when official Tbilisi shunned the Moscow leadership. Since then, many Georgians have considered her pro-Russian, a label she disapproves of.