Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has restored the Ukrainian citizenship to ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who served as the Odesa Governor in Ukraine between 2015 and 2016 and then went into the opposition of his former ally, now ex-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The reason cited by Poroshenko for the annulment of Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship, which he granted him in 2015, was that Saakashvili “hid the fact that he was wanted in Georgia [for several possible crimes].”
After holding rallies in Ukraine at the end of 2017 against Poroshenko, Saakashvili was deported to Poland.
Saakashvili said that both the annulment of his Ukrainian citizenship and his deportation to Poland were illegal and vowed that he would return to Ukrainian politics, “to help Zelensky fulfil the promises he gave the Ukrainian people” under the new administration of the country.
The document proving the restoration of Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship has already been released.
Read more about Saakashvili here:
- Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili as the Odessa Governor in May 2015, but in November 2016 the Georgian ex-President quit the post, accusing Poroshenko of corruption.
- Saakashvili, who served as Georgia’s third president from 2004 to 2007 and again from 2008 to 2013, announced his resignation as Odessa governor at a special press conference on November 7, 2016.
- Saakashvili then said despite his resignation, he would continue his fight against corruption in Ukraine along with "young and honest forces”.
- In 2014 Saakashvili was officially charged for his role in several crimes in Georgia however by the time his case went through court he was already in Ukraine.
- Saakashvili is accused of the violent dispersal of anti-government mass protests on November 7, 2007; unlawful raiding of Imedi television company by riot police and the illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili.
- Prior to his appointment as the Governor of Odessa, Saakashvili received Ukrainian citizenship.
- Receiving Ukrainian citizenship meant Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship was automatically revoked.
- In July 2017 Poroshenko issued a decree to annul Ukrainian citizenship for Saakashvili and since then the former president had had no citizenship.