President of Ukraine restores Ukrainian citizenship to Mikheil Saakashvili
President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky has restored Ukrainian citizenship to the former President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.
Hromadske reports that the head of state issued a decree annulling the decision of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko.
Mikheil Saakashvili filed an appeal to President Zelensky requesting him to return the citizenship of Ukraine through his lawyer on May 22.
• Op-Ed: Saakashvili in Ukraine, the beginning of the end
Earlier, Saakashvili said that he appealed to the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the border service and the Security Service with a request to lift the ban on his entry into Ukraine.
On the day of the presidential election in Ukraine on March 31, Vladimir Zelensky said he welcomed Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine:
“Let him come. I think that Mikheil Saakashvili plays an enormous role now when he is defending the democracy of Ukraine in Europe and shows this by his actions. He is a serious diplomat and a serious consultant for all people, for all candidates who go into politics today…I believe that the help of such a person as Saakashvili will be needed by everyone.”
How Saakashvili received and lost Ukrainian citizenship
Saakashvili received Ukrainian citizenship from former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2015, when Saakashvili was appointed governor of the Odesa region.
At the end of 2016, Saakashvili resigned and accused President Poroshenko of corruption and unwillingness to reform.
Saakashvili announced the creation of his own party and that he was going into the opposition. In July 2017, President Saakashvili was stripped by Poroshenko of his Ukrainian citizenship. The reason for this decision was the fact that Saakashvili, in obtaining Ukrainian citizenship, allegedly concealed information about criminal cases pending against him in Georgia.
In December 2017, Saakashvili was accused by the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office “of the promotion of members of a criminal organization and the support of criminal activity to the detriment of the interests of the state.” That is – he allegedly received money for the organization of protests from Russia, from persons close to the former president of Ukraine Yanukovich.
Saakashvili was arrested, but the next day the Ukrainian court released him. In February 2018, Mikhail Saakashvili, was deported from Ukraine to Poland.
He currently resides in the Netherlands.