A top Georgian official has confirmed the country’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili will be deprived of his Georgian citizenship, as he now had Ukrainian citizenship.
Current rules prevent Georgian citizens from holding dual citizenship, unless in special cases, however this would not apply to Saakashvili.
At today’s special briefing Georgia’s Minister of Justice Thea Tsulikiani said Saakahsvili, who now served as the Governor of Odessa in Ukraine, will be deprived of the Georgian citizenship due to the fact that he had Ukrainian citizenship.
Tsulukiani said Georgian legislation stated a person lost his/her Georgian citizenship automatically if he/she received citizenship of any other country.
However until October 18 we did not have official confirmation and relevant documentation that Saakashvili really received Ukrainian citizenship,” Tsulukiani said this morning.
Georgian and Ukrainian media outlets released information concerning Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship [and] we have listened to some official statements as well. However Saakashvili himself claimed the process of him being grated Ukrainaian citizenship had begun but had not been completed,” she said.
That statement was ambiguous and were waited for official confirmation from Ukraine [before making a decision to revoke Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship] and we only received that confirmation in October this year,” Tsulukiani said.
The Minister said from today the Ministry’s Service Development Agency would begin the process to annul Saakashvili of his Georgian citizenship.
Saakashvili left Georgia when his presidential term expired in 2013. He moved to Ukraine and decided to continue his political career there. Initially Saakashvili said he would not give up his Georgian citizenship in any instance.
On May 30, 2015 Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili as head of Odessa region in southwestern Ukraine. One day earlier Ukrainian media reported Poroshenko had granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship on May 29.
The ex-President is wanted by Georgia's law-enforcement bodies for several charges.