Poroshenko Praises the Actions of Border Guards During Saakashvili's Breach

Trevor Jackson
September 12, 2017

Exiled former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili and hundreds of his supporters forced entry into Ukraine from Poland yesterday in an attempt by the firebrand politician to reclaim his citizenship stripped by President Petro Poroshenko.

A criminal case over illegal border crossing was opened in Ukraine after ex-Odessa governor Mikhail Saakashvili broke through the country's border, the Ukrainian police reported Monday.

Saakashvili, who used to govern the region of Odessa, wanted to re-enter Ukraine on Sunday to contest a July decision to revoke his citizenship.

"We believe in the fact that Mikheil Saakashvili can lead our country out of the crisis", supporter Lyudmyla Goretska told France24.

Before crossing the border, Saakashvili has explained stis difficulty by the fact that Kiev "panic", saying that he wanted "not to overthrow the president Porochenko" objective just to defend sti rights.

Mr Saakashvili said he was unexpectedly swept over the border by a crowd, angry that the crossing was closed.

"Instead, a crime was committed", he said of Sunday's events at the border.

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That move left the charismatic pro-Western politician stateless as he had earlier been stripped of his citizenship in his homeland Georgia.

Saakashvili's relationship with Poroshenko dates back almost three decades to when they were students at the same university in Kiev and their shared opposition to the Kremlin later brought them together as politicians. According to the State Border Guard Service, 12 National Police fighters and 10 border guards have sustained bodily harm.

"They swept us up and carried us into Ukraine", he said. Party in the bus, he then opted for the train, then returned to the bus to eventually make it to the post of Medyka, where the border guard Polish let it pass, aim where he found himself facing a barrage of men in uniform Ukrainian and cars. Saakashvili was a strong supporter of those protests and later was a staunch ally of Poroshenko, but more recently he has opposed the current administration in Kyiv, accusing Poroshenko and others of contributing to widespread corruption.

Kiev could leave Saakashvili alone or arrest him and possibly extradite him to Georgia, where the 49-year-old is wanted on criminal charges, which he says are politically motivated.

The Ukrainian president added that he would respect any court ruling for Saakashvili.

Saakashvili, a disgraced politician, boarded an Intercity train in Poland to travel to Ukraine's Lvov, but the train was delayed "because of a passenger without a right to enter the territory of Ukraine".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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