Saakashvili: our friendship with Ukraine under Yanukovych is closer than under Yushchenko
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said that relations between Tbilisi and Kiev under the current regime in Ukraine is even closer than during the reign of Victor Yushchenko.
According to Ukranews, during a meeting with the Ukrainian delegation, Saakashvili said that this development was made possible through the joint work of both sides.
In turn, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Tigipko, who led the Ukrainian delegation, said that in Kiev they are closely watching the pro-reform experience of the Georgian authorities. He added that during his first visit to Georgia, he had seen a much more negative picture. "Earlier, it was impossible to drive on the roads, there were no such buildings", said Tigipko.
Recall, during the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko Georgia and Ukraine were considered as strategic partners, including the military sphere.
At the same time, according to press secretary of the former Ukrainian president Irina Vannikova, even before the outbreak of armed conflict in South Ossetia he tried to dissuade Mikhail Saakashvili from a military solution of the problem. According to the spokesman of ex-president of Ukraine, after the outbreak of war in South Ossetia, which Vannikova called "Russian aggression", Yushchenko immediately went to Georgia at the request of Saakashvili.
"Viktor Yushchenko told earlier: Mikhail Saakashvili called me in the morning. Usualy, Georgian president is very verbose, but that time he said only two words - "Victor, please, come here". Yushchenko President called Lech Kaczynski and said: "Lech, a war occured in Georgia. We must help them. We must support them". Kaczynski answered: "No problem. I'll call our Baltic colleagues - Lithuanian President, the President of Latvia and Prime Minister of Estonia. I'll take them on my plane, then I'll come to Simferopol to take you, Victor", proUA.com quoted Irina Vannikova.
"It was a very unpleasant story, when we did not fully understand: whether we'll reach or not. Thank God, Azerbaijan allowed the landing. And not Baku, but a small town Ganja. And so we landed, 150 people from 5 different European countries. We passed three checkpoints in cars, in the dark. When we crossed the Azerbaijani-Georgian border, to change the cars, the presidents were covered by riot police with armored shields", added Irina Vannikova.