05:49 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Mikheil Saakashvili

    Georgian Ex-Leader Saakashvili Calls for Arms Supplies to Ukraine – Media

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    In his capacity as a non-staff advisor to Ukraine’s president, former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili will reportedly coordinate the delivery of weapons from the Western countries to Ukraine.

    "Helping Ukraine with weapons is the top priority right now," he said, as quoted by independent Kiev-based TV channel, Espreso TV. "I will coordinate the issue in the coming days."

    On Friday, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko announced that Saakashvili, known for his strong anti-Russian stance, would head the Advisory International Council of Reforms. The newly-created body is supposed to "increase the level of international support to Ukraine," Poroshenko’s office said in a news release.

    "Mikheil will become a representative of Ukraine abroad and, simultaneously, a representative of the international community in Ukraine," Poroshenko explained, adding that Saakashvili is supposed to "decently represent us abroad."

    Poroshenko praised Saakashvili for his "knowledge, experience and unique know-how," as well as achievements in carrying out reforms in Georgia during his presidency.

    Saakashvili, who resides in the US, served as Georgian president from 2004 until 2013, when he was barred from seeking another presidential term. His rule was largely criticized at home for authoritarianism, and a 2012 prison torture scandal dealt a heavy blow to his approval ratings. In summer 2014, a Georgian court charged him with abuse of power and misappropriation of public funds.

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    Tags:
    international relations, military aid, lethal aid, weapons supplies, weapons, Petro Poroshenko, Mikheil Saakashvili, Ukraine, Georgia
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