Mikheil Saakashvili, recently appointed as the executive secretary of Ukraine’s National Reform Council, is the former president of Georgia and the former governor of Odesa oblast in Ukraine. During his presidency of Georgia, the country’s gross domestic product quadrupled, foreign direct investment surged, and the number of people living in poverty plummeted. At the time, the World Bank wrote: “Georgia’s experience shows the vicious cycle of ostensibly endemic corruption can be broken.” Saakashvili has pledged to do the same in Ukraine. However, his last years as president were not nearly as productive and marked by major controversy, as was his time as governor in Odesa. His return to political life in Ukraine has created an air of expectation and uncertainty. 

Veteran journalist and BBC News HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur speaks to Saakashvili about his past work in Georgia and Ukraine and things to come.


May 15, 2020

Why I’m optimistic Georgia’s reforms can change Ukraine

By Mikheil Saakashvili

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili explains why he believes his experience reforming Georgia can help Ukraine accomplish its own post-Soviet transition towards European prosperity.

Democratic Transitions Political Reform
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