Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, who died in plane crash in Russia on April 10 “will always be remembered as absolutely outstanding figure of Polish history, of European history and certainly of the history of my region,” President Saakashvili said.
Speaking with CNN from London studio, Saakashvili described Kaczynski as a person with “great courage, big heart and principles.”
The Polish President, central bank head and the country's military chief were among 96 people killed when their plane crashed as it neared Smolensk airport in western Russia killing everyone on board. The delegation was en route to commemorate Poles killed in mass murders in Katyn under orders from Soviet leader Josef Stalin in 1940.
The Georgian President’s administration announced that Kaczynski was posthumously honored with an award of National Hero of Georgia for “showing heroism in defending Georgia’s interests” internationally. The statement also notes about Kaczynski’s role during the August, 2008, when he, along with presidents of Ukraine and Lithuania, as well as PMs from Latvia and Estonia arrived in Tbilisi in show of support.
“I was a young politicians when I first met him and since that moment we became close friends and I never called him the President, I called him Lech,” Saakashvili said in an interview with CNN.
“If I had to name who played an amazing role in terms of fighting for Georgia’s freedom, for Georgia’s future, I would put President Kaczynski very high in that gallery. And that’s not an exaggeration. I think my countrymen feel that way. We have seen his courage, we have seen his personal commitment,” he said.
Saakashvili also said that “there is something incredibly evil” about the tragic death of the Polish President.
Asked what he meant when saying “evil”, Saakashvili responded: “I mean the way he died. Of course, there is a symbolism in that. I do not want to comment about it.”
“I think ultimately, what he achieved, the legacy he leaves behind in terms of emotions, politics, human relations, the warmth of his heart… will outlast everything else and that will be something, that will stay for generations and generations,” Saakashvili said.
“I think that his ideals will prevail ultimately, good will always defeat evil,” he added.