Georgian Ambassador to Ukraine Gela Dumbadze said yesterday that the Embassy was in “continuous communication” with relevant Ukrainian agencies over the recent cases of deportation of Georgian citizens from Ukraine.
Speaking to Rustavi 2 TV on November 21, Dumbadze said the Ukrainian side denied there was any connection between the deported persons and ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s political activities, and clarified that the lack of information over the deportations was because the Ukrainian authorities linked the move to “national security interests.”
The Ambassador added that the Ukrainian Prime Minister tasked the heads of the State Border Protection and the Migration Services to meet Dumbadze and “discuss these cases in detail.” He also noted that during the meeting he would raise the issue of “timely notification of the Embassy on similar cases.”
The Ukrainian State Security Service reported on November 17 that eight Georgian citizens were deported from Ukraine in a joint operation with the National Police, the Border Protection and the Migration Services. Media outlets said that Rustavi 2 TV’s cameraman as well as several Georgian volunteers fighting on the Ukrainian side in Donbas were among the deportees.
Mikheil Saakashvili, leader of the opposition Movement of New Forces party in Ukraine, slammed the recent cases of deportation of Georgians, saying the move was carried out against him by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko together with Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s former Prime Minister.
The opposition United National Movement held a protest rally outside the Georgian Foreign Ministry on November 20, accusing the Ministry of failing to protect the interests of Georgian citizens.
In a previous development, on October 15, UNM MP Koba Nakopia was banned from entering Ukraine. On November 11, an employee of the Special State Protection Service of Georgia, who was accompanying Saakashvili’s younger son Nikoloz, was also banned from entering Ukraine.