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Zelensky calls on foreign ministry to summon Georgian ambassador over treatment of Saakashvili

by Rachel Amran July 4, 2023 2:04 AM 1 min read
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President Zelensky called on Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Ministry to summon the Georgian ambassador to Ukraine to express "strong protest" over the treatment and physical deterioration of the country's imprisoned former president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

The president also asked that Saakashvili be brought to Ukraine for necessary medical care and treatment.

"Russia is killing Ukrainian citizen Mikheil Saakashvili at the hands of the Georgian authorities. Today, I have instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon the Georgian Ambassador to Ukraine, to express a strong protest and to offer him to leave Ukraine within 48 hours to hold consultations with his capital."

The dramatic extent of Saakashvili's physical deterioration during his time in prison was revealed in an online court session on July 3 in which he appeared critically ill and emaciated.  

In response, President Zelensky posted a brief statement on his Telegram channel calling on the Georgian authorities to "hand over Ukrainian citizen Mikheil Saakashvili to Ukraine."

Saakashvili was arrested in Georgia in October 2021, beginning a hunger strike from jail shortly afterwards. The former president said that he was at risk of organ failure earlier this year.  

"We have repeatedly called on the official Tbilisi to stop this mockery and agree on Saakashvili's return to Ukraine." President Zelensky stated. "Our partners, in coordination with Ukraine, have also offered various rescue options."

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