Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Georgia ex-leader Saakashvili in Poland after Ukraine deportation

Mikhail Saakashvili Mikhail Saakashvili
Ellis Copeland | 15 February, 2018, 08:51

Mr Poroshenko stripped Mr Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship a year ago, but Mr Saakashvili re-entered Ukraine anyway from Poland in September.

"If the European Union and, in particular, Angela Merkel do not take any steps, Ukraine will collapse", Saakashvili said in an interview with Bild on Monday, February 12, DW.com reports.

"This person was on Ukrainian territory illegally and therefore, in compliance with all legal procedures, he was returned to the country from where he arrived", the country's border service spokesman Oleh Slobodyan said in a post on Facebook.

Saakashvili said that he did not intend to seek asylum in Poland, and vowed to eventually return to Ukraine.

Slobodyan reminded that in September 2017, the Ukrainian court found Saakashvili guilty of illegal crossing of Ukraine's state border.

Mr Saakashvili has regularly attracted a few thousand supporters to his rallies, but polls suggest he does not enjoy widespread popularity in Ukraine.

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But he told Current Time that "Georgian authorities absolutely do not want me [to be extradited to Georgia], because as soon as I am back to Georgia they will be toppled".

He is accused of trying to stage a coup sponsored by Russian Federation in Ukraine, where he has led rallies calling for Poroshenko's ousting, accusing him of failing to fight corruption.

On September 10, 2017, he entered Ukraine without passing border control. His supporters broke through the cordon of security forces and escorted him into Ukraine.

Saakashvili, Georgia's president from 2004-13, came to Ukraine after his presidency ended as an ally of Poroshenko, who appointed him governor of the southern Odessa region. During one such protest, the agitated demonstrators attempted to take a local cultural center by storm. On February 5, his appeal against that decision was also rejected. "Corrupt Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is behind this action", the politician said. He is also wanted in Georgia on criminal charges linked to embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state as well as abuse of power during the crackdown on anti-government protests.

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