Zelensky Summons Georgian Ambassador from Ukraine over Detained Saakashvili
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced the expulsion of Georgia's ambassador from Ukraine due to the horrific condition of imprisoned former Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili. Zelensky accuses Russia, the aggressor state, of being complicit in Saakashvili's plight at the hands of the Georgian authorities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been tasked with summoning the Georgian ambassador, expressing protest, and requesting his departure from Ukraine within 48 hours.
In his video address, President Zelensky stated that Russia is currently "killing a Ukrainian citizen, Saakashvili, through the hands of the Georgian authorities." He called on the Georgian government to permit the transfer of the politician to Kyiv, where he will receive necessary care and medical assistance.
On July 3, 2023, imprisoned former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili participated remotely in a court hearing from a hospital in Tbilisi via video link. The hearing pertained to the use of force during a demonstration in November 2007. It was Saakashvili's first public appearance in many months, and he appeared shockingly emaciated and frail.
According to his mother, Saakashvili, who stands at 195 centimeters tall, has halved his former weight of 120 kilograms since his imprisonment.
Mikheil Saakashvili has been in a Georgian prison for two years. The 55-year-old politician, stripped of Georgian citizenship, now holds only Ukrainian citizenship.
Medical professionals are gravely concerned about his condition.
However, pro-Russian Georgian officials have repeatedly ridiculed the concerns raised by doctors regarding Saakashvili's state.
According to Irakli Kobakhidze, the leader of the ruling party in Georgia, Zelensky's action regarding Saakashvili is "insulting." However, Kobakhidze emphasized that Tbilisi wishes to "remain in a state of friendship" with the Ukrainian government, even if it is a unilateral arrangement.
The leader of the pro-government party in Georgia added that he does not wish to delve into this matter further, as "it concerns the president of a country that is in a state of war."
Earlier this week, Kobakhidze told journalists that Saakashvili is simply "feeling sad" because the quality of his life behind bars has deteriorated, and that he should "eat eggs and cheese, then everything will be fine."
Amnesty International, a human rights organization, has labeled the treatment of Saakashvili by the Georgian government as "an obvious political revenge."
Recall that last month, imprisoned former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced his return to Georgian politics. He made this announcement on his social media page.