Former Governor Mikheil Saakashvili Stopped At Ukraine Border

PRZEMYSL, Poland -- A train carrying the former president of Georgia and one-time governor in Ukraine Mikheil Saakashvili has been stopped on its way to Ukraine.

Former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko came to support Mr Saakashvili at Przemysl railway station.

Mr Saakashvili is a stateless person, having had his Ukrainian citizenship stripped by his former ally, President Petro Poroshenko, after a falling out.

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

His train was held at a railway station in Przemysl, Poland.

It is not clear who ordered the train to be stopped.

AFP news agency quoted the operator of the train as saying she had been ordered by the authorities, but declined to specify whether they were Polish or Ukrainian.

Mr Saakashvili was joined by a number of his supporters, including former Ukrainian Prime Minister and current opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Deportation threat 

Mr Saakashvili, who was born in Georgia, said he is returning to his adopted Ukraine to contest President Poroshenko's decision to strip him of his citizenship in July while he was out of the country. 

In 2015, he was appointed governor of Odessa by Mr Poroshenko, but the two fell out last November after Mr Saakashvili accused the president of blocking efforts to stop corruption.

But in accepting Ukrainian citizenship, he surrendered his Georgian citizenship.

"The reality is for me today that the Georgian passport means guaranteed imprisonment for me in Georgia," he told the BBC at the time.

If he crosses in to Ukraine, he could possible be arrested and deported to Georgia to face charges, the BBC's Europe Regional Editor, Danny Aeberhard, said.

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

Ukraine is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which prohibits the withdrawal of citizenship when doing so would result in a person becoming stateless.

Exceptions exist in limited circumstances such as fraud or disloyalty to the state, though it is not clear if either apply in Mr Saakashvili's case.

Ukraine's migration service said the president takes decisions on who is stripped of Ukrainian citizenship based on the conclusions of the citizenship commission.

It did not provide the exact reason, but stated that this could be done if a Ukrainian national acquired citizenship of another country or submitted false documents.

Source: BBC News


Igor Skakovsky said…
t am very embarrassed for the actions of Ukrainian President Poroshenko.

First, he commended to barb wire entire check point, brought bunch of tetushky (trained individuals in civilian close often with weapons) to attack Saakashvili's supporters, commend center and double amount of boarder guards at the same check point at which respected Ukrainian citizen Mr. Saakashvili planed to enter Ukraine.

Second, Poroshenko forbids the train to leave Polish train station on the way to Ukraine which Mr.Saakashvili try to use to avoid further provocations from Ukrainian current government that resembles mafia more than government. Polish ministers contacted Ukrainian counter parties trying to make train to leave the station, no result, Ukrainian side one by one rejected responsibilities.

Third, Poroshenko commended and boarder guard commanders announced the bombing danger at the check point where Mr.Saakashvili tried to circumvent the initially blocked check point.

Mighty Thanks to Ukrainian people and some boarder guards for supporting and bringing Mr.Saakashvili on their hands through the boarder.

Congratulations Mikho Saakashvili and a shame to Poroshenko.