Protesters Rush Mikheil Saakashvili Through Polish-Ukrainian Border Crossing

Sep 12, 2017, 00:32
Protesters Rush Mikheil Saakashvili Through Polish-Ukrainian Border Crossing

Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship in July.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wants punishments to be handed down for the Saakashvili-supporters who barged across the border to bring Saakashvili across from Poland.

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.

Saakashvili said the border guards refused to take his passport from him and stamp it to enter the country. "We should have democracy in our country and should not have the diktat of the oligarchs".

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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. It left him effectively stateless as Georgia has also withdrawn his citizenship.

Another supporter, Maria, 49, who declined to give her surname, said she believes "Saakashvili is the future president" of Ukraine and "will finish the war" with Russian Federation.

"It does not matter who violates the state border - invaders in the East or politicians in the West".

Mr Saakashvili, 49, is credited with pushing through pro-Western reforms in his native Georgia, which he led from 2004 to 2013 after rising to power during the so-called Rose Revolution in 2003.

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"Poroshenko took all passengers of this train as hostages and is telling everyone that no-one will go anywhere", Saakashvili told reporters. Saakashvili says the decision was politically motivated. "I had none. As such, I can not say that we were friends".

In early September, Georgia asked Ukraine to arrest and extradite Saakashvili for the third time. He then traveled by bus to the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing, where he was allowed to pass through a Polish checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, but then temporarily blocked from reaching the Ukrainian checkpoint by a line of border guards standing arm-in-arm.

According to Ukrainian authorities, 11 police officers and five border guards received minor injuries during clashes with Saakashvili's supporters.

"Yesterday and today millions of Ukrainian nationals are feeling ashamed of their authorities, of the opposition and - at the end of the day - themselves", wrote political observer Yevhen Kuzmenko. Georgia, where he faces accusations of abuse of power and misappropriation of property, has sent an extradition request to Ukraine.

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