Stateless ex-leader Saakashvili to try to enter Ukraine

Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili speaks with journalists in Przemysl Poland
The ex-Georgian president Saakashvili forced the Ukraine to participate in the elections

10 September, 2017

Aggressive government supporters, known as "titushki", came to the Krakovets checkpoint on the Polish-Ukrainian border on September 9 to protest against ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's planned arrival in Ukraine on September 10.

Ukraine on Sunday turned back former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili as he tried to cross into the country from Poland to reclaim his citizenship there which was stripped by President Petro Poroshenko. Hundreds of his supporters gathered on the Ukrainian side of the crossing in anticipation. Saakashvili told reporters at the Medyka border crossing, adding: "We hope that we can still break through".

He said he also expects thousands of supporters of the political party that he created in Ukraine, the Movement of the New Forces. "We need to overcome the oligarchy".

Saakashvili is now wanted in his homeland for alleged abuse of power - something he denies - during a tumultuous nine years as president that saw him fight and lose a brief war against Russian Federation in 2008.

Saakashvili contends the revocation was illegal and that he wants to challenge it in Ukraine. The ex-Odessa governor who was in the United States at the time promised to file an appeal to the decision of the Ukrainian leader in court.

Kiev justified the move by claiming that Saakashvili had provided "inaccurate information" in his citizenship application.

Tbilisi is seeking Saakashvili's arrest and extradition on allegations that he misappropriated property and abused his powers when he was president of his native Georgia from 2004 to 2013.

Saakashvili denies the allegations, saying the charges are politically motivated. "This is very sad", Saakashvili said Friday in Warsaw.

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