Saakashvili ready to help Zelensky's team with advice
Ex-president of Georgia, ex-head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili, who has returned to Ukraine, has said that he does not have any career ambitions and does not intend to head the Ukrainian government.
"I have no ambitions in terms of getting any posts. I turned down [former Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko's offers to become prime minister three times. Why? Because I didn't want to become a 'ceremonial bystander' at a wedding of profiteers," Saakashvili said in a televised interview.
When asked what he would do if current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offers him the post of prime minister once again, Saakashvili said: "I think this time that he [Zelensky] will find a young, promising, and good-looking prime minister. But they can call me even at three o'clock at night, and I'll give them advice if they want to hear it."
Saakashvili said that he does not find "any posts appealing", but that he would like to help create "platforms for new ideas" in Ukraine.
"I would gladly participate in creating a platform for new ideas. There are no posts that appeal to me. I held numerous positions in the two countries and will say frankly that if I'm invited to any cabinet... basically this life doesn't appeal to me at all, because I didn't make any money from it but only took knocks. If the system isn't changed it will swallow me up, and again there will be the kind of style where once again that guy tries to do something, but once again nothing comes of it. It's not my style: I don't want it," he said.
Saakashvili said he is sure that "platforms for big ideas" are needed today.
"I have been speaking about the idea of information technologies for several years," Saakashvili said, adding that he supports Zelensky's state-in-a-smartphone initiative, including the possibility for Ukrainian citizens themselves to vote for bills if the Verkhovna Rada cannot do so.
Saakashvili said he is convinced that Ukraine can make a development breakthrough only if it renounces everything that has been done since Ukraine gained independence in 1991 "from the point of view of so-called state building, which in reality meant the demolition of the country."
He called Ukraine's current government system a "system of feeding."
"By renouncing this tradition, it's possible to make a breakthrough, overtake Poland and catch up with both Germany and France. I sincerely believe that," he said.
Zelensky's team has healthy ambitions, Saakashvili said, adding that there will be a total makeover after the parliamentary election: "a new picture of Ukraine filled with new people," he said.
Earlier, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky overturned the decision of the fifth Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about depriving former President of Georgia, former head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Saakashvili of Ukraine's citizenship.