Ex-Georgian PM stopped from crossing into Ukraine from Poland for hours

Ex-Georgian PM stopped from crossing into Ukraine from Poland for hours

Ex-Georgian PM stopped from crossing into Ukraine from Poland for hours

Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of Georgia and a former governor of a Ukrainian region, returned to Ukraine on Sunday, reportedly in an attempt to challenge the decision to rescind his Ukrainian citizenship.

Saakashvili assures that his illegal returning to Ukraine was realized with the help of "hundreds of his supporters", and Ukrainian officials say this stateless person entered the country illegally, and 16 border guards and National guardsmen were injured.

Saakashvili, 49, who served as Georgian president from 2008 to 2013, was granted Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and was appointed as the governor of Ukraine's southern Odessa region. Saakashvili and President Petro Poroshenko too, but the cost they will pay for yesterday's circus will be much lower than what the country will have to pay.

The stateless Saakashvili had initially meant to travel through the Krakovets border crossing where hundreds of supporters of his Movement of the New Forces party had gathered.

"I hope this gentleman [Saakashvili] will strive with the same zeal to get into Georgia as he did to reach Ukraine".

Mr Saakashvili has denied the accusations, branding them a political witch hunt. Earlier, Polish border guards let Saakashvili out of the country but warned about possible problems with the Ukrainian side.

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An RFE/RL correspondent at the border reports that Ukrainian police on September 10 detained about 40 Ukrainian men wearing camouflage military uniforms who allegedly were "hired" to disrupt events marking Saakashvili's attempted return.

Mikheil Saakashvili said on Monday he was not seeking the presidency for himself, but wanted to see Poroshenko ousted at the next election in 2019.

Saakashvili was a strong supporter of those pro-democracy protests and has accused Poroshenko of betraying their ideals.

The Ukrainian president added that he would respect any court ruling for Saakashvili.

The revocation of Saakashvili's citizenship was met with criticism by some Ukrainian politicians with ex-Prime Minister and Batkivshchina (Fatherland) Party leader Yulia Tymoshenko believing that this move was another step toward dictatorship in Ukraine. 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. Georgian authorities are seeking his extradition to face a range of charges of misappropriating property and abuse of office, RFE says.

Prosecutor-General Yuri Lutsenko said late on Sunday that charges would be pursued against organisers of Saakashvili's unauthorised entry.

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