S​aakashvili says Yatsenyuk’s Cabinet thwarts reforms, serves oligarchs

Mikheil Saakashvili has lashed out at Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his Cabinet, saying that they are sabotaging economic, customs and other reforms and serve oligarchs’ interests.

Saakashvili, the ex-Georgian President who became Odesa Oblast governor in May, has launched sweeping changes.

He has cracked down on corruption at the customs office and is planning to introduce faster registration procedures, cut government staff, increase their wages and replace them with new people.

Yet now all these changes, as well as reforms nationwide, are being scuttled by the Cabinet, he argues.

Yatsenyuk countered on Sept. 4 that Saakashvili’s accusations were unfounded and claimed that the Cabinet had approved the governor’s requests.

“We are all in one team here. I understand his emotions because he bears all the responsibility for Odesa Oblast,” Yatsenyuk said. “But it is inappropriate for an ex-president to bring unfounded charges against the government.”

Saakashvili told Channel 5 on Sept. 3 that the Cabinet was the main culprit for the country’s slow pace of reforms.

“Every day I talk about sabotage not by Russia, which is interested in sabotaging me, and not by local clans – they are widespread but they’re unlikely to thwart me,” he said. “We’re talking about sabotage by central government.”

He added that the Cabinet was “giving with one hand and taking away with the other.”

He said that he had “fallen victim to their talk and confidence tricks. I believe I’ve been deceived. Lies should have some limits. I hear lies every day.”

He also called for a thorough reshuffle of the Ukrainian government.

“Now the government is paralyzed,” Saakashvili said. “There must be a total reset of the Ukrainian government on all levels.”