Saturday, 18 November, 2017

Ukraine presses charges against Saakashvili for resisting police while breaching border

The ex-Georgian president Saakashvili forced the Ukraine to participate in the elections Former Georgian President Breaks Through Ukrainian Checkpoint After He Was Refused Entry by Train
Saul Franklin | 12 September, 2017, 00:19

LVIV, Ukraine (Reuters) - A day after forcing his way past border guards back into Ukraine, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said he would unite the opposition against his former ally President Petro Poroshenko and planned to campaign for support.

Saakashvili said he had a plan to return to Ukraine and resume his Ukrainian passport.

Georgia on December 4 stripped former leader and reformer Mikheil Saakashvili of his citizenship as he had acquired a Ukrainian passport to serve as governor of the strategic Odessa region.

Saakashvili became a Ukrainian citizen in 2015, giving up his Georgian citizenship. Saakashvili was outside the country when the decision was made.

Poroshenko, meanwhile, told reporters that Saakashvili was a "criminal" for entering the country against the wishes of border patrol and would be dealt with as such. "Instead of this, a crime has been committed, because there is a constitutional principle of inviolability of borders", Poroshenko said. He gave up his Georgian citizenship when he got the job in Ukraine.

Mr Saakashvili has denied the accusations, branding them a political witch hunt. Ukrainian Member of Parliament Ivan Krulko, cited by BBC, said the guards had allowed Saakashvili into the country.

But Saakashvili has been adamant about his return to rally political supporters, having announced his return to the country as far back as July.

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"They swept us up and carried us into Ukraine", he said.

Saakashvili and his supporters, including former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, had earlier tried to travel to Lviv by train, but it was held up in the Polish city of Przemysl for hours until he got off and traveled by bus to the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing.

No matter how hard I try, I just can't find a logical explanation that would justify the decision to stop the train from leaving and increasing security at the border.

After several hours of waiting, realizing that the train wouldn't leave with him on board after all, Mikheil Saakashvili chose to enter Ukraine by bus at the Medyka crossing. I, as president, will surely comply with any court ruling.

Saakashvili, a disgraced politician, boarded an Intercity train in Poland to travel to Ukraine's Lvov, but the train was delayed "because of a passenger without a right to enter the territory of Ukraine".

The Georgian prosecutor's office repeatedly called for Kiev to extradite Saakashvili, but the Ukrainian side rejected the appeals at least twice.

He is also wanted in Georgia on criminal charges, which he claims are politically motivated.

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