Former Georgian president Saakashvili forces his way into Ukraine

Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says he wants to return to Ukraine to reclaim his citizenship which was stripped by President Petro Poroshenko
The ex-Georgian president Saakashvili forced the Ukraine to participate in the elections
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12 September, 2017

Georgia on December 4 stripped former leader and reformer Mikheil Saakashvili of his citizenship as he had acquired a Ukrainian passport to serve as governor of the strategic Odessa region.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wants punishments to be handed down for the Saakashvili-supporters who barged across the border to bring Saakashvili across from Poland. He also does not have Georgian citizenship, which he declined in order to take on a Ukrainian passport in 2015.

Saakashvili took power in Georgia after a peaceful pro-Western uprising, known as the Rose Revolution, in 2003.

"Saakashvili's return to Ukrainian politics was triumphant albeit scandalous", Mr Vadym Karasyov, director of the Kiev-based Institute of Global Strategies, said. Government officials at the border said 17 police and guards were injured during the confrontation with Saakashvili's supporters. According to Groysman, Saakashvili committed an "attack on Ukrainian statehood".

Ukraine refused to extradite former President of Georgia because charges against him are politically motivated, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's office said.

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Saakashvili was allowed to pass through the Polish checkpoint at Medyka, before a line of border guards tried to block his approach to the Ukrainian side. "I demand to be let into my Ukraine", he said.

Saakashvili, who has been overseas since mid-July, refused to accept the loss of his Ukrainian citizenship, saying he would return to Ukraine to continue his political career. "We hope we can still get there", Saakashvili told reporters at the Medica border crossing. "There always must be legal responsibility", Poroshenko said in televised remarks on Monday.

The breakthrough across Ukraine's border occurred when Saakashvili and people traveling with him, including his wife, son, and several Ukrainian MPs, were stranded in the neutral zone between Ukraine and Poland. Georgia, where he faces accusations of abuse of power and misappropriation of property, has sent an extradition request to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says that Mikheil Saakashvili should fill the form of the border-crossing fact at the Shehyini checkpoint or immigration service.

His supporters at the border crossing on Sunday claimed he had the ability to deal with Ukraine's corruption, overcome its oligarchy and end Ukraine's three-year eastern border region war with Russian Federation.


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