Margvelashvili: Georgia-Ukraine friendship strong despite Saakashvili's controversial appointment

President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, 25 Feb 2015 - 17:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

"Any Georgian is ready to serve in Ukraine but it is Ukraine’s choice what kind of Georgian it will invite,” says the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili.

It was with these words that Margvelashvili used to describe the recent situation regarding the appointment of former president Mikheil Saakashvili to the role of adviser to the Ukrainian president.

In an interview with a Ukrainian journalist, Margvelashvili questioned Saakashvili’s appointment to the Ukrainian post.

"[Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko and I were given our mandates by the Georgian and Ukrainian people respectively [and] this makes us obliged to strengthen the friendship between the two nations,” Margvelashvili said.

"We do fulfil this obligation but even if we didn’t we would still be unable to make the Georgians and the Ukrainians be embroiled in a dispute as we share the same historic roots and goals.”

"Judging by the love and friendship between us and by our strategic interests, I would say that any Georgian is ready to serve in Ukraine. However it is Ukraine’s choice what kind of Georgian it will invite. Our friendship with Ukraine is based not only on individuals but historic neighbourhood and strategic partnership,” the Georgian President said.

He believed "certain details and mistakes” would be corrected in peacetime.

"These kind of issues are not discussed when neighbours have problems,” he added.

Earlier this month Georgia’s ex-President Saakashvili, who is wanted in his home country, was appointed an aide to the Ukrainian President to help the war-torn country on its path to reform.

Poroshenko assigned Saakashvili as his non-staff adviser and as chairman of Ukraine’s Advisory International Council of Reforms – a step, which was not welcomed in Tbilisi as there are multiple criminal charges filed against Saakashvili in his home country.