The “invited Georgian” returns back to Ukraine
This week, Mikheil Saakashvili’s candidacy for the post of Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for reform is expected to be considered.
According to the former president of Georgia and the ex-governor of the Odessa region, the initiative came from President Vladimir Zelensky. “It is a great honor for me to receive an offer from the president to become vice-prime minister of the Ukrainian government on reforms. I also had a very informative and useful conversation with Prime Minister Shmygal”, Saakashvili wrote on his social networks.
Earlier, in 2015-2016, the “invited Georgian” (as former President Poroshenko called him) was already noted in Ukrainian politics. Then Mikheil headed the Odessa region.
According to the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of the previous convocation Igor Mosiychuk, under Saakashvili, crime increased in the Odessa region, the region was completely criminalized. He created a number of corruption schemes. The regional prosecutor and police chief were his comrades David Sakveralidze and George Lordkipanidze. Therefore, “linking Saakashvili and the fight against corruption is simply ridiculous,” the politician said.
As a result of increased influence, Saakashvili began to show political ambitions. The president liked his activity less and less. The post of governor of the region had to be left.
But the political activity of Miho in Ukraine did not end there. He founded his party – “The Movement of New Forces”, began to criticize the “oligarchic regime” of Poroshenko. This was followed by several actions for impeaching the president and calls to seize the Palace of Trade Unions in the capital. But the next Maidan did not take place.
In 2017 Poroshenko deprived the former Georgian president of his citizenship and deported him from the country. Soon, Saakashvili broke through the Polish border and returned to the country.
A year later, Saakashvili was detained in a restaurant and sent to Poland. Zelensky, having come to power, returned to him Ukrainian citizenship, and Miho again came to Kiev.
What is expected from Mikheil Saakashvili
If Misha failed as the governor of the region, why did the president appoint him responsible for nationwide reforms?
The reason for this is most likely money. Which the country really needs now and which Miho promised to knock out from the West. In addition, analysts express the view that President Zelensky hopes at least somehow with his help to raise his falling rating and to establish complicated relations with the EU.
In this regard, Saakashvili’s candidacy may not seem completely hopeless. An experienced politician can get into the offices of influential people in Washington and Brussels.
President Zelensky plans to designate Saakashvili’s zone of responsibility the negotiations with the IMF on the allocation of financial assistance to Ukraine. Another important task of the Georgian politician should be the coordination of the economic bloc of the government, deregulation of business and support for small and medium-sized businesses.
He promised that a week after his appointment, he would submit to the Rada’s profile committee a package of seven laws, the implementation of which would allow Ukraine to rise twenty positions in the Doing Business world ranking in a month.
Saakashvili’s proposals are good and not new – the fight against corruption, the reduction of state regulation and acceleration of economic growth. But not feasible in modern Ukraine. And they look populist.
His return to Ukraine will probably be marked by new political vacillations, but will not help Kyiv to cope with current problems. This was stated by Deputy Director of the Eurasian Center in the Atlantic Council, Melinda Haring, on April 24 in an article for The National Interest.
Thus, the next career stage of Mikheil Saakashvili in Ukraine is likely to be similar to the previous one. He will promise a lot, but not much to do. And then it will bother the president. And what was the last time we all remember.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.