President Petro Poroshenko’s political bloc has named Georgia’s ex-healthcare minister, Alexander Kvitashvili, as its nomination for the minister of healthcare in Ukraine’s new coalition government.
Eka Zguladze, who was Georgia’s first deputy interior minister in 2006-2012 and was an acting interior minister for less than couple of months in 2012, has been named for the post of Ukraine’s deputy interior minister, Ukrainian media outlets are reporting.
Both Kvitashvili and Zguladze were among some other candidates, who met lawmakers from Poroshenko’s political bloc on December 1 as consultations on forming the new government near end, Ukrainska Pravda news website reported. Kvitashvili was Georgia’s healthcare minister in 2008-2010 and then served as rector of the Tbilisi State University till June, 2013.
As talks on forming the new government were still underway, reports were emerging in recent days about possible nomination of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili and Georgia’s ex-justice minister Zurab Adeishvili for government posts in Ukraine – both are facing criminal charges in Georgia and are wanted by the Georgian authorities.
Speaking from Kiev on December 1, Saakashvili told Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV that although he had been offered the post of vice-premier, he had to decline it; Saakashvili said that in case of accepting the post he had to take Ukrainian citizenship, automatically leading to losing the Georgian citizenship – something, he said, he did not want.
Officials in Tbilisi warned that appointing those Georgian ex-officials in the Ukrainian government, who are facing criminal charges in Georgia, would have had negative consequences on the bilateral relations.
“The Foreign Ministry has an instruction to intensify good neighborly relations with Ukraine and efforts are underway to prepare Georgian Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine… If Georgian former officials, who are facing charges over grave crimes in Georgia, are appointed, it won’t be positive for these efforts,” a newly appointed spokesman for the Georgian Foreign Minister, Davit Kereselidze, said on December 1.
Georgia’s Energy Minister and deputy PM, Kakha Kaladze, said on December 2 that appointing Saakashvili or Adeishvili in the Ukrainian government “will be painful of us, because we consider Ukraine as our friendly country and it would be a bit awkward, and unimaginable, to see those people in the Ukrainian government, who are now wanted in Georgia.”
State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Paata Zakareishvili, said on December 2 that it was highly unlikely for Ukraine to appoint those Georgian ex-officials on political posts in Ukraine, who are facing criminal charges in Georgia.
“As far as those ex-officials are concerned, who are not facing any criminal charges in Georgia, of course it is up to Ukraine, they have their views about it. But I would be surprised by appointing on Ukrainian government posts of those politicians, who have actually failed reforms in Georgia and brought the state to the verge of collapse and the people had to vote them out of office,” Zakareishvili said.