Saakashvili announces his plan to return to Ukraine
The former president of Georgia and governor of the Odessa oblast (region) of Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili, has announced that he plans to return to Ukraine on 10 September. He stated his plans during a live Facebook feed.
Saakashvili noted that he will enter Ukraine from Poland, through the ‘Krakowec’ entry point in the L’vov oblast.
He said that even if one considers the President’s order to deprive him of his Ukrainian citizenship legal, the authorities of Ukraine do not have the right to refuse him entry into the country even if he is a person without citizenship, as he has constantly resided in Ukraine over the past several years.
“I have a steady residential address in Ukraine, and all my personal belongings are in Ukraine. I have a large number of friends in Ukraine and I am one of the initiators of a political movement which has been registered in Ukraine as ‘The Movement of New Forces of Mikheil Saakashvili’. That is to say it would be absurd if in Ukraine [I have] a political movement, a party, and they wouldn’t let me in,” stated Mikheil Saakashvili.
According to him, the Ukrainian authorities are trying to prevent his return by strengthening the security of the border and are making laws that may present obstacles to his return to the country. However, Saakashvili is counting on the support of his supporters whom he has called to the ‘Krakowec’ entry point. Saakashvili also said that he will be accompanied by reporters and supporters from Poland while returning to Ukraine.
Saakashvili stated that he is ready to fight to have his citizenship reinstated in court.
On 26 July, President Poroshenko deprived Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship, which was given to him by the same individual in 2015. According to a statement given by the Ukrainian Migration Service, the reason for this decision was Saakashvili’s failure to provide the correct information during the citizenship application process.