Political News

Saakashvili seeks return to Ukraine despite stateless status

Posted September 8

— Mikhail Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia and a former governor in Ukraine, said Friday he plans to try returning to Ukraine even though both his Ukrainian and Georgia passports are no longer valid.

Saakashvili said he plans to be at Poland's border with Ukraine on Sunday so he can go back to where his "home" is. However, his Ukrainian passport expired after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revoked his citizenship in July.

Poroshenko acted after Ukraine received some unspecified documents from Saakashvili's native Georgia, which also stripped him of his passport and wants him extradited.

"I have no valid document whatsoever, no passport of any country, I'm quite restricted in my movements," the stateless ex-leader told reporters in Warsaw.

Poland maintains good relations with Saakashvili, who had close ties with the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski. Kaczynski's twin brother is the head of Poland's current ruling party.

Saakashvili served as the president of Georgia during 2004-2013. He was stripped of his Georgian citizenship in 2015 after he moved to Ukraine's Odessa region as Poroshenko's pick for governor.

Georgia is seeking his extradition on charges connected with the violent dispersal of protests during his presidency and a raid on a private television station.

Saakashvili alleged that the leaders of Ukraine and Georgia want him out of politics and that his choice is to "be brave" under the circumstances.


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