Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Rada: Saakashvili deprived of Ukrainian citizenship

Former Georgian President and former governor of Odessa region Saakashvili attends anti-government and in support of him rally in central Kiev Rada: Saakashvili deprived of Ukrainian citizenship
Melinda Barton | 27 July, 2017, 16:44

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and Odesa regional governor who has been stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship, is vowing to resist what he called the "cowardly" move and to "continue fighting for a real European Ukraine".

It said a decree was issued by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, without stating the reason.

Poroshenko saw him at that time as an ally, but Saakashvili resigned the post a year ago, complaining of official obstruction of his anticorruption efforts.

According to the report, Saakashvili's citizenship was revoked because he provided false information when he obtained a passport, on the question of whether he had been legally prosecuted in Ukraine or any other country.

The then-Russian President and current Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has reacted to Saakashvili's debacle with the citizenship by calling the situation a "tragicomedy". Saakashvili is no longer a Georgian citizen, but if he returns to Georgia he will face a court of law.

In his video message, he also suggested that President Poroshenko had made a deal with the authorities in Tbilisi during his visit to the country several days ago.

Saakashvili is now in the United States. "According to our constitution, it is impossible to extradite him to another country, but we have full contact with Georgian colleagues and are ready to answer all their questions", said Yevgeny Enin, deputy general prosecutor of Ukraine in June.

In November 2016, Saakashvili quit his post and formed an opposition party and was seen heavily criticizing Ukrainian authorities. "I will fight for my legal right to return to Ukraine!" he said on Facebook.

The press service of the ex-Georgian president's party, Movement of New Forces, told RIA-Novosti that Saakashvili is now in the US.

Known for sweeping pro-Western reforms in his native Georgia which he led from 2004 to 2013, Saakashvili was a strong supporter of Ukraine's Maidan uprising and as a reward Poroshenko appointed him as governor of Ukraine's Odessa region in 2015.