Ukrainian PM and presidential candidate, Yulia Tymoshenko, said she was grateful to Georgia for sending election observers and rejected allegations that Georgian observers planned to destabilize polls as “cheap provocation” by Party of Regions, led by her rival presidential candidate, Viktor Yanukovych.
“The first round of election demonstrated that the Georgian observers worked as observers. I am grateful for that,” Tymoshenko said in an interview with Ukrainskaya Pravda.
Tymoshenko confirmed that a taped phone conversation between her and President Saakashvili, which was released few days before the January 17 elections, was authentic. In the phone conversation Tymoshenko and Saakashvili discuss the Ukrainian Central Election Commission’s refusal to register large group of Georgian election observers. Speaking in Russian, in the conversation Saakashvili mentions that Tbilisi sent “competent” and “battle-capable” (the Russian word, which Saakashvili used боеспособный can also refer to efficient) team of observers. This word was seized by Tymoshenko’s opponents to accuse her that she was discussing with the Georgian President arrival of “fighters” in Ukraine to destabilize elections, particularly in the city of Donetsk, a political stronghold of Yanukovych.
“He [Saakashvili] meant efficient observers and not ninja-fighters,” Tymoshenko said. “Do you really believe that the President can really call to Prime Minister to offer some suspicious things?”
Asked if she found out from where the phone conversation was taped “from Georgia, Ukraine or the third country”, Tymoshenko responded: “I do not want to discuss that and focus attention on that.”