Grigol Vashadze

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Grigol Vashadze
Grigol Vashadze (cropped).jpg
Chairman of the United National Movement
In office
24 March 2019 – 15 December 2020
Preceded byMikheil Saakashvili
Succeeded byNika Melia
Member of the Parliament of Georgia
Assumed office
11 December 2020
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
In office
6 December 2008 – 25 October 2012
PresidentMikheil Saakashvili
Prime MinisterNikoloz Gilauri
Preceded byEkaterine Tkeshelashvili
Succeeded byMaia Panjikidze
Minister for Culture, Heritage Preservation and Sport of Georgia
In office
2 November 2008 – 10 December 2008
PresidentMikheil Saakashvili
Prime MinisterGrigol Mgaloblishvili
Preceded byNikoloz Vacheishvili
Succeeded byNikoloz Rurua
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
In office
6 February 2008 – 2 November 2008
Personal details
Born (1958-07-19) 19 July 1958 (age 62)
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, USSR
Political partyUnited National movement (2017-2020)
Other political
Strength is in Unity (coalition) (2018-present)
Spouse(s)Nina Ananiashvili (m. 1988–present)
Alma materMoscow State Institute of International Relations

Grigol Vashadze (Georgian: გრიგოლ ვაშაძე, also transliterated as Gregory Vashadze) (born July 19, 1958) is a Georgian politician, diplomat and a former member of the Cabinet of Georgia in the capacity of the Minister for Culture, Heritage Preservation and Sport (2008) and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia (2008–2012).

Early career[edit]

Born in Tbilisi, Vashadze graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1981 and worked for the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs, simultaneously doing his postgraduate training in international law at the Soviet Diplomatic Academy. At one time, he was a member of Soviet diplomatic team at the START I talks with the United States. He worked in Department of International Organizations and Department of Cosmos and Nuclear Weapons of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.

In Georgia[edit]

From 1990 to 2008, Vashadze engaged in private business and lived mostly in Moscow and New York. He returned to Georgia in 2005. In February 2008, he was appointed Deputy to the Foreign Minister David Bakradze whom he succeeded as an acting minister in April 2008. He continued to work as Deputy Foreign Minister and became Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia in December 2008, succeeding Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili. In October 2012, he was succeeded by Maia Panjikidze.

In July 2018 Vashadze was nominated as a presidential candidate for 2018 Georgian presidential election by United National Movement and 9 other opposition parties. In the first round of the election, his opponent Salome Zurabishvili won just one percentage point ahead of Vashadze.[1]

On 24 March 2019 after Mikheil Saakashvili stepped down as Chairman of the United National Movement, he was nominated by the former chairman and won the following leadership election unopposed. He served as Chairman until the 15th of December 2020, when he left the party.

Political positions[edit]

In his presidential campaign, Vashadze signalled his intention to use the presidency’s limited powers to send a vocal message of integration with NATO and the European Union.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Vashadze has been married, since 1988, to the famous ballet dancer Nina Ananiashvili and has two children, Nodar and Elene.[3] Beyond his native Georgian, Vashadze speaks Russian, English, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French.[4]

Issue of citizenship[edit]

Vashadze held dual citizenship of Georgia and Russia. During an interview with Russian newspaper Kommersant in December 2008, Vashadze stated that he was not going to refuse the Russian citizenship.[5] His refusal was heavily criticized by Georgian opposition.[6] Semyon Bagdasarov, a deputy of the Russian State Duma, suggested to strip Vashadze of his Russian citizenship on account of his being "anti-Russian", but the parliament quickly dismissed the proposal as illegal. Following this incident, Vashadze renounced his Russian citizenship.[7][8]


  1. ^ Margarita Antidze (November 28, 2018), Ruling party candidate leads in Georgia presidential runoff Reuters.
  2. ^ Margarita Antidze (November 28, 2018), Ruling party candidate leads in Georgia presidential runoff Reuters.
  3. ^ A Swan Takes Flight, interview of Nina & Gregory by Paul Lieberman. Los Angeles Times Magazine, June 21, 2000, published at Accessed on May 4, 2008.
  4. ^ Grigol Vashadze. Archived 2010-11-25 at the Wayback Machine Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Accessed on May 4, 2008.
  5. ^ Kommersant interviews new foreign minister. Rustavi 2.
  6. ^ Georgian Greens disapprove foreign minister`s candidacy. Rustavi 2.
  7. ^ "Georgian foreign minister renounces Russian citizenship". RIA Novosti. 2009-11-04. Retrieved 2009-11-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Georgian FM Stripped of Russian Citizenship. Civil Georgia. June 28, 2010. Accessed on February 10, 2012.
Preceded by
Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
5 December 2008 – 25 October 2012
Succeeded by
Maia Panjikidze