Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili says he plans to fight for the legal right to enter Ukraine.
On July 26, Saakashvili was reportedly stripped of his Ukrainian passport, under violation of Article 9 of Ukrainian Law, “Concerning Ukrainian Citizenship,” which forbids the use of false documents to gain citizenship. After the information was spread in the media, Saakashvili gave a video address broadcasted on his Facebook page.
“I have one citizenship - Ukrainian, and they cannot take that away. The government is trying to force me to gain refugee status or ask that this does not happen. [Ukrainian President} Poroshenko decided to take away my citizenship secretly when I was not in the country. As soon as they saw that I was uniting people, so that in the Fall I could come out in the streets and end their oligarchy, [their] fear overcame sound reasonIng,” says Saakashvili.
According to Saakashvili, Poroshenko recent visit to Georgia in July 2017 was not in order to improve relations between Ukraine and Georgia, but rather to come to “another agreement.”
“Poroshenko was in Georgia to arrange another agreement, this time between two oligarchic regimes, that of the Ukrainian Poroshenko and the biggest shareholder in Gazprom, the pro-Russian [Bidzina] Ivanishvili. They have thought that, supposedly, new evidence in my case has been provided to the General Procuratura of Ukraine, but this is just another lie and trick. Since I was given citizenship, no new case has been initiated against me in Georgia! Those fabricated cases that have been initiated, these accusations, have not been recognized by any other country than Georgia!” Saakashvili says in the video.
Saakashvili noted that the fight will continue.
“Two days ago this president, on whom the Maidan once placed its hopes, changed the composition of the Citizenship Committee. On July 24 he appointed new people to this Commission in order to have a completely subservient commission that would agree to any of the President’s whims. With this decree of yours, you have decreed, for yourself and for your government, inevitable failure. I am more of a Ukrainian than many of the current deputies. I love Ukraine with all my heart and I will continue the fight here, in our Ukraine, without regard to any obstacles!”
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev commented on his official Facebook page:
“Saakashvili’s fate is astonishing: A citizen of Georgia, the president of Georgia, a person deprived of Georgian citizenship, a citizen of Ukraine, a friend of the president of Ukraine, Governor of the Odessa region, a person deprived of Ukrainian citizenship. The series of actions from the Ukrainian authorities is astonishing - to grant the former President of Georgia Ukrainian citizenship, to make him governor, to deny Ukrainian citizenship and to accept his extradition to Georgia. All of this is an irrefutable testimony to the highest moral qualities of two people who are acting out this fantastic tragicomedy. The Show Must Go On,“ wrote Medvedev, quoting the band Queen.