TBILISI, DFWatch–Former President Mikheil Saakashvili continues to offer his assistance.
On Sunday, after instructing Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, to under no circumstance weaken the military operation against pro-Moscow separatists in the east, he also offered his assistance to the current Georgian government – his bitter rivals – in bringing the country on the international arena, a step unlikely to yield a positive response from Tbilisi.
Saakashvili announced his offer while talking with Georgian journalists in Kiev.
The former president, who has not been to Georgia since the last presidential elections in November 2013, apparently out of fear of being prosecuted, said that due to the Ukraine crisis, Georgia is now in a uniquely beneficial geopolitical environment and the country must utilize this momentum properly.
He said, he can personally contribute to Georgia’s efforts to consolidate its position internationally.
“Now when we see developments going on in Ukraine, Georgia has a unique chance […] Everyone interested in Georgia, because everyone acknowledges the threats [from Russia]. Everyone realizes that it was not a battle fought only by Georgia and its [former] government,” Saakashvili said, evidently referring to his confrontation with Russia and Vladimir Putin personally, which culminated in the war in August, 2008.
The most important thing now, is to assist Georgia, regardless of who is in office in Tbilisi, Saakashvili went on saying.
“I’m ready to assist the current government, the president, to utilize the current, and for us extremely beneficial, trend in the international arena as much as possible,” Saakashvili said, implying his broad network of contacts among influential Western policy makers.
“The election battle is not so important to me,” he said. Saakashvili’s National Movement party was beaten by a wide margin by the Georgian Dream coalition in the parliamentary election in 2012, and again in the presidential election in 2013. Relations between the two blocs have soured after a period of precarious power-sharing ended a year ago.
DFWatch tried repeatedly on Sunday, but was not able to get a comment from the government about this unusual offer. However, taking into account the current level of animosity between Saakashvili’s party and the governing coalition, it is unlikely that the government will seriously consider the offer.
In May, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili warned Ukrainian leaders not to trust the former Georgian president, who had earlier offered his assistance to Kiev’s rulers.