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Ukraine's Zelenskiy appoints Georgia's ex-President Saakashvili as top adviser

The former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, is making a political comeback in Ukraine. His appointment as the head of a presidential committee has prompted strong reaction in his home country.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the erstwhile president of Georgia and former governor of Ukraine's Odessa region, has been appointed as the head of the Executive Committee for Reforms in Kyiv. This advisory body is part of the Ukrainian National Council of Reforms and thus of the president's office.

Initially, Ukrainian media said Saakashvili was to become the secretary of the council, but he confirmed to DW that he would be its head. On Friday, Saakashvili thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the appointment, and in a television interview said that his primary objective was to "liberate" the Ukrainian economy, which has been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, from too much state regulation.

The National Council for Reforms was founded in 2014 by decree of then-President Petro Poroshenko. According to the Ukrainian president's official website, it is "a special advisory body to the president of Ukraine that is responsible for the strategic planning and the coordination of positions during the implementation of a unified state policy of reform in Ukraine." The president determines who sits in the council. The website says the council held altogether 28 sessions between 2014 and 2018, the last one in early March 2018.

Read more: Georgia's Russia protests benefit Saakashvili

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