Friday, 24 November, 2017

Poroshenko Praises the Actions of Border Guards During Saakashvili's Breach

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
Dexter Carr | 12 September, 2017, 00:13

Around 1,500 supporters marched with the exiled ex-Georgian leader on the Ukrainian side of the border before he hopped into a vehicle bound for the western city of Lviv, where around 500 supporters greeted him on his arrival.

Ukraine has launched an investigation into former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for illegal entry into the country, TASS reported.

Saakashvili, who used to govern the region of Odessa, wanted to re-enter Ukraine on Sunday to contest a July decision to revoke his citizenship. Saakashvili says the decision was politically motivated. After the incident had already gained significant global media attention, Saakashvili and his allies broke through the guards, reports The Associated Press reports.

"But instead, he committed a crime - because the state border must not be violated", Poroshenko said.

Saakashvili denies the accusations branding them a political witch hunt.

Video footage showing chaotic scenes of Mr Saakashvili's supporters overpowering border guards went viral, with pro-Western lawmaker Svitlana Zalishchuk labelling it a "circus". However, Saakashvili said in August that he is going to come back to Ukraine from Poland on September 10, 2017.

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.

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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. Ukrainian authorities in the border region tried to block Saakashvili's return - first by train, then by bus - but then he walked across the Ukrainian border at Shehyni in the midst of a crowd of his supporters.

While waiting for the train together supporters and journalists, the ex-President talked with Georgian reporters about his desire to help Ukraine as well as to return to Georgia. The Ukrainian president noted that this was not a political case, rather "this issue was within the competence of law enforcement agencies".

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

Mikhail Saakashvili, who is known for his tie-chewing habit, stated that he lost his Ukrainian passport, which was a legal way for him to enter.

"We didn't want this country when we stayed on Maidan", he told reporters.

Georgia has pursued Saakashvili on criminal charges of abuse of power and misappropriation of property.

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