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On 2 June 2015, the talk show, Choice,

dedicated its whole episode to an interview with the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. During the interview Mr Saakashvili focused upon Georgia’s political orientation. According to him, Georgia has uncertain relations with its neighbours and this trend has already had its results. For example, the biggest hydro power plant project together with Turkey has been stopped. The number of tourists has also decreased. In addition, Azerbaijan stopped its biggest investment activity in Poti. The ex-President talked about Ukraine as well and stated: "The Prime Minister of Georgia announced seven times that he would visit Ukraine. Yet, he has failed to visit even a single time. He said that he would visit in December, then January and then February."

FactCheck

took interest in the issue of the Prime Minister of Georgia’s visits to Ukraine and verified the accuracy of Mikheil Saakashvili’s statement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia announced the Prime Minister of Georgia’s visit to Ukraine on 1 December 2014. According to the Ministry’s Press Speaker, Davit Kereselidze, the date was not set but the preparations for the visit were already underway. According to the Speaker, this was to have been a high-level visit and other Cabinet members would also participate.

According to the information published in January 2015, a group of Georgian ministers was to visit Ukraine at the end of the month. The next stage would be the Prime Minister of Georgia’s visit. In her conversation with the media, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Tamar Beruchashvili, stated that the Prime Minister of Georgia had met the Ambassador of Georgia to Ukraine and discussed the processes in Ukraine and the agenda for the visits. She also said that preparations were underway for ministerial-level visits in Kyiv. Ms Beruchashvili said that the Prime Minister of Georgia’s visit to Ukraine was also being prepared; however, she did not name a specific date for the visit. In the end, the visit, as announced, did not take place at all.

On 16 February 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia issued a statement saying that Irakli Gharibashvili’s visit to Ukraine was still going to take place. The Ministry’s Press Speaker, Davit Kereselidze, explained that the Prime Minister’s visit was not yet verified; however, the plans had not been changed. No visit took place in February. The date was still unknown in the month of March as well. The Head of the Administration of the Government of Georgia, Maia Tskitishvili, explained that the visit was being prepared but it was not planned for March.

On 26 March 2015, the Prime Minister of Georgia himself commented upon his visit to Ukraine. According to his statement, the appointment of former Georgian officials to the Government of Ukraine was not the reason for the postponement of his visit. "As for my visit to Ukraine, I am occupied with domestic issues right now and I try to refrain from external visits as best I can," said the Prime Minister.

The information about the Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine was also unknown in April 2015. According to Resonance,

the Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine remained unclear in its details as late as four months after it was first announced despite the statements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia that preparations for the visit were still underway.

The Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia explained to us that the Ministry is not working on the technical details of the Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine right now.

Conclusion

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia announced Irakli Gharibashvili’s visit to Ukraine in December 2014. Despite the statement that the Prime Minister’s visit is still going to happen and that preparations remain underway, it has not taken place as of yet. It is still unknown when the Prime Minister will visit Ukraine.

Hence, FactCheck concludes that Mikheil Saakashvili’s statement about the Prime Minister of Georgia’s visit to Ukraine is TRUE.