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Stateless Former Georgian President Storms into Ukraine Demanding Citizenship

12 September 2017

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has slammed Ukraine's criminal probe launched against Georgian ex-president and former Odessa Region's governor Mikhail Saakashvili over the illegal border crossing as "political circus", TASS reports.

Saakashvili and a small crowd of supporters on Sunday shoved their way through a line of guards at the Ukrainian border, making good on the politician's vow to return to the country that had stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship.

Mr Poroshenko defended his decision to annul Mr Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship, noting that no appeal against the move had been lodged in court. No need to forget that home country, Georgia, accused Saakashvili of abuse of power and misappropriation of property, now it has sent an extradition request for him to Ukraine.

Saakashvili was the third president of Georgia between 2004-2007 and again in 2008-2013.

"But instead, he committed a crime - because the state border must not be violated", Poroshenko said. And it is all the same to me who breaches the state border, whether fighters in the east or politicians in the west.

Ukraine refused to extradite former President of Georgia because charges against him are politically motivated, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's office said.

"They swept us up and carried us into Ukraine", he said.

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An announcement made for passengers on the Ukrainian-operated train said the National Police of Ukraine had informed the rail service that "a person without a permit to enter the territory of Ukraine" was on board.

Saakashvili earlier claimed that Ukrainian police stole his passport shortly after he had crossed the border. "No matter how many times he says that I am not a danger [to] him, every action of his shows exactly the opposite - that he regards me as a great and immediate danger", Saakashvili also said.

In December 2015, Georgian authorities stripped Saakashvili of Georgian citizenship as dual citizenship is not allowed in Georgia.

On Sunday evening Saakashvili and his supporters forced their way past a cordon of border guards to return to Ukraine from Poland.

"Why is President Poroshenko so afraid of me", Saakashvili told reporters before breaking through to Ukraine.

Saakashvili and his entourage eventually got off the train and took buses to the Medyka crossing, where Polish guards let him through.

Stateless Former Georgian President Storms into Ukraine Demanding Citizenship