Irakli Alasania, leader of a three-party opposition Alliance for Georgia, called on President Saakashvili to summon an extended session of the National Security Council to discuss allegations about senior Georgian official’s meddling in the Ukrainian presidential elections.
“We have enough grounds to demand summoning of an extending session of the National Security Council where we and the society will receive and demand to receive concrete answers about who has planned this political adventure carried out in Ukraine,” Irakli Alasania said on January 22.
“And of course this session should consider the issue of responsibility of number of officials,” he added. “The damage inflicted on our foreign policy and in general on our national interests definitely requires an immediate reaction.”
Extended session of the National Security Council with participation of some opposition politicians was held for several times. Alasania attended one such session, chaired by President Saakashvili, in August, 2009.
On January 20, the Alliance for Georgia called for resignation of Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili and Chairman of Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security, Givi Targamadze for “roughly interfering” in the Ukrainian presidential elections. The call came after a taped phone conversation purportedly between Merabishvili and Targamadze surfaced in the Ukrainian media sources in which the two men are discussing how to overcome obstacles to secure arrival of large group of Georgian citizens in Ukraine for the presidential elections. The Ukrainian Central Election Commission refused to register 2,000 Georgians to monitor the elections, but about several hundred Georgian citizens were anyway sent to Donetsk, a political stronghold of presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych, with some of them having press accreditation of a local media organization.
The move became a source of controversy in Ukraine with Yanukovich’s camp claiming that the Georgian authorities sent unusually large group of “so called observers” in order “to destabilize elections” in favor of another presidential candidate, PM Yulia Tymoshenko.
“Saakashvili’s government jeopardized the future good relations between two countries and all responsibility for the negative consequences is on the Georgian president,” the Alliance for Georgia said in a statement on January 20.
President Saakashvili said on January 18 that the decision to send large group of Georgian election observers to Ukraine was “agreed in advance with all the political parties in Ukraine.” He also said Kiev would remain Georgia’s “ally and a friend” no matter who wins in Ukraine’s second round of presidential elections on February 7.