Georgia's Saakashvili Forces His Way Into Ukraine

Saakashvili Comes Home

Image by European People’s Party

The former Ukrainian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, has been barred from crossing into Poland by the Ukrainian authorities while trying to enter the country to regain Ukrainian citizenship, which was withdrawn from him by Ukrainian President Petro Porchenko.

Saakashvili, who was born in Georgia, has said he wants to return to his adopted Ukraine to contest President Poroshenko's decision to strip him of his citizenship, in July while he was out of the country.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president, entered Ukraine on Sunday despite being barred from the country, according to media reports.

Saakashvili has accused the Ukrainian authorities of using pressure tactics to deter him from returning to Kiev, where he has launched a campaign to unseat Poroshenko.

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Before crossing the border, Saakashvili has explained stis difficulty by the fact that Kiev "panic", saying that he wanted "not to overthrow the president Porochenko" objective just to defend sti rights.

The second mistake Saakashvili made was in the way he and his supporters crossed the border.

That move left the charismatic pro-Western politician stateless as he had earlier been stripped of his citizenship in his homeland Georgia.

Saakashvili denies the accusations branding them a political witch hunt.

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Yury Lutsenko, Prosecutor General of Ukraine said late on September 10 that participants and organizers of illegal border crossing in Shehyini will be held responsible. Saakashvili, who was gaining fewer new supporters, needed a situation that would bring him back to the headlines. "There always must be legal responsibility", Poroshenko said in televised remarks on Monday.

He has brandished his Ukrainian passport on several occasions and also maintains that officials working for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva have confirmed his status as "stateless in Ukraine", meaning he has the right to be there to appeal against Poroshenko's decision to withdraw his citizenship.

Saakashvili attempted to enter Ukraine from Poland, where he used his Ukrainian passport to travel by train and bus into the country.

"It looks like he is getting rid of a political opponent and no matter how many times he says that I am not a danger to him, every action of his shows exactly the opposite, that he regards me as a great and immediate danger", he said. One of the law enforcers refused to tell a Georgian reporter the reason why the checkpoint was closed and warned that the area was mined.

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Tbilisi on Tuesday asked Kiev to extradite Saakashvili to face charges of misappropriation of property and abuse of office among others.

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