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At the plenary session of the Parliament of Georgia held on 16 April 2014, member of the United National Movement, Giorgi Kandelaki, spoke about Georgian-Ukrainian relations and noted that in the duration of the Ukrainian crisis, as well as after the Georgian Dream’s coming into power, not a single Minister, nor the Prime Minister or the President, has paid an official visit to Ukraine.

FactCheck

took interest in the given statement and verified its accuracy.

Diplomatic relations between Georgia and Ukraine were established on 22 July 1992. Since this date, the Presidents, PMs and Ministers of both countries have paid numerous official visits to each other. A complete history and chronology of the official visits and agreements between Georgia and Ukraine can be found on the website

of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

The Ministry’s website informs that the last official visit to Ukraine was held on 17-18 May 2012 when the Vice-Prime Minister and the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze, visited Ukraine. Baramidze took part in the seventh session of the Georgia-Ukraine intergovernmental economic commission.

In addition to the Ministry’s website, FactCheck

also checked other sources and found that on 25 December 2012 the State Minister for Diaspora Issues, Konstantine Surguladze, paid a visit to Ukraine. The Minister met with representatives of the Georgian diaspora in Donetsk.

On 1-4 October 2013, Shalva Pipia, Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, held an official meeting with the Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine, Oleksandr Vilkul, and senior management of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine. The discussion at the meeting primarily concerned issues on bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture. Additionally, meetings were conducted with local agrarian business representatives.

It should also be mentioned that on 6 November 2013, the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alex Petriashvili, took part in the World Economic Forum – Strategic Dialogue on the Future of Ukraine. Viktor Yanukovych, then President of Ukraine, addressed the guests of the event. In the framework of the forum, Petriashvili held meetings with the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leonid Kozhara.

Maia Panjikidze, the Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, also travelled to Ukraine within an official visit on 5 December 2013. Her meeting was held in a multilateral format; namely, as a part of the OSCE Ministerial Council held in Kyiv (in 2013 Ukraine served as the Chairman of the OSCE). It is worth noting that the Minister held bilateral meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, including the MFA of Ukraine, during the OSCE Ministerial Council.

The information given above reveals that no Georgian Minister has visited Ukraine during the Ukrainian crisis although Ukraine did receive several visits of Georgian Ministers between the years 2012 and 2013.

FactCheck

inquired about the visits of the Prime Minister as well. We checked the information published on the official website of the Georgian Government which displays the timeline of the Prime Minister’s official visits. According to the published information, the Georgian Prime Minister has held no official visit to Ukraine since November 2012.

President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has paid no official visit to Ukraine following his inauguration on 17 November 2013 according to information published on the official website of the Georgian President.

Conclusion

Our inquiry about the accuracy of Giorgi Kandelaki’s statement revealed that in the period following November 2012; that is, from the day of the Georgian Dream’s taking office up until today, neither the Prime Minister nor the President has paid an official visit to Ukraine.

As for the visits of Ministers, in 2012 the State Minister for Diaspora Issues, Konstantine Surguladze, visited Ukraine and on 1-4 October a visit was paid by the Minister of Agriculture, Shalva Pipia. In 2013, Ukraine was also visited by the Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alex Petriashvili, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maia Panjikidze. The visits of Panjikidze and Petriashvili were held within the framework of multilateral meetings however bilateral meetings have also been held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The above information indicates that several Ministers from the Georgian Dream government have indeed visited Ukraine although no Ministers have visited the country since the beginning of the crisis. The major pathos of Giorgi Kandelaki’s statement refers precisely to this fact

We conclude that the MP’s statement, "Throughout the crisis in Ukraine, not one Minister of the Georgian Government, not to mention the Prime Minister or the President, has visited Kyiv in order to express political support towards this strategic partner of our country. As far as I know, not only in the duration of this crisis but, in general, ever since the Georgian Dream’s taking office none of the Ministers has visited Kyiv," is MOSTLY TRUE.