FM Zalkaliani: I assume Ukrainian PM not directly involved in tweet on Georgian counterpart

Zalkaliani responded to the tweet that appeared to question the Georgian Prime Minister's stance on flights to Ukraine and drew reactions on Monday. Photo: Foreign Ministry of Georgia/Archive., 01 Mar 2022 - 00:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has cast a doubt over the authorship of the tweet posted in the name of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal on Monday that appeared to challenge his Georgian counterpart over a stance on flights to Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion of the country.

Zalkaliani told Rustavi 2 channel in an interview late on Monday he assumed the tweet, which expressed hope the Georgian PM would give permission for a flight taking “[b]rave Georgian brothers to Ukraine”, had been posted without “direct involvement” of Shmyhal.

The foreign relations official said he was making the assumption “as the text appearing in Georgian gives rise to a lot of doubts to me and I tend to understand where it may be coming from”, without elaborating further.

The tweet in question was posted through the Twitter account of the Ukrainian official in English, Ukrainian and Georgian, and was posted with a follow-up tweet that said “Freedom-loving Georgian people, help your Prime Minister make the right decision!”.

Zalkaliani also told the channel Georgian PM Garibashvili had a “very close, friendly, partnerly, brotherly relationship” with Shmyhal, adding the “supportive attitude” expressed from the head of the Georgian government to his colleague in partnership was “unwavering and truly solid.”

The Foreign Minister also told the interview he understood the gravity of the situation in Ukraine, and the charged atmosphere created by the conflict in the country, but reaffirmed Georgia’s stance in supporting the partner state defending itself from the ongoing Russian invasion.