Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has appealed to his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko to react to the video recordings released through a Ukrainian video portal, revealing the conversations of Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili with various individuals concerning an alleged coup in Georgia.
In the recordings, which had their authenticity confirmed by Saakashvili, the leader of the opposition United National Movement party, Giga Bokeria, and the Director of Georgia’s private broadcaster Nika Gvaramia, the former President urges the duet to stage a revolution and unrest in the country, using a legal dispute between former and current shareholders of the channel as a pretext.
In his letter to Poroshenko, Garibashvili stated that he was “concerned” by the audio recordings, as it remains unknown as to who released them, and emphasized that the incident might damage the historically close relationship between Georgia and Ukraine, as Saakashvili currently serves as the Governor of Odessa in Ukraine.
Members of the majority Georgian Dream coalition (GD) state that if an official creates a threat to the relations of the two countries, the Prime Minister should remove him from office.
Meanwhile, members of the opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), believe that the appeal to Poroshenko “was not serious” as Garibashvili himself “was not described as a serious politician”.
The appeal has already been lodged to the Ukrainian leadership, though a response has yet to be given. However, it is very likely that the Ukrainian leadership will soon comment on the issue.
It is not important in such situations how seriously Garibashvili is taken by the opposition; Garibashvili is the nation’s top official and it will be hard for Ukraine to ignore the appeal. A lack of response from Kiev could strain Georgian-Ukrainian relations, especially as Saakashvili confirmed the authenticity of the conversations.
If he really discussed planning a coup and creating unrest in Georgia, the current Georgian leadership, at least, has the right to hear the response from a country in which Saakashvili, who has openly advocated revolution, serves as a leader one of its most important areas.