Saakashvili may eat another tie, this time for Ukraine

Saakashvili was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship earlier this year

Saakashvili - formerly Georgian, then Ukrainian - has been a stateless person since President Petro Poroshenko, once a supporter, stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship in July.

Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of Georgia and a former governor of a Ukrainian region, returned to Ukraine on Sunday, reportedly in an attempt to challenge the decision to rescind his Ukrainian citizenship.

Saakashvili, also an ex-governor of Odessa, was banned from entering Ukraine after falling out with the country's president.

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

"We believe in the fact that Mikheil Saakashvili can lead our country out of the crisis", supporter Lyudmyla Goretska told France24. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said 17 police and border guards were injured in the confrontation.

The return carries risks for Saakashvili, who is stateless.

Speaking to reporters in the western city of Lviv later Monday, Saakashvili rejected the accusations, saying that stripping him of Ukrainian citizenship "was the crime".




Video footage showing chaotic scenes of Mr Saakashvili's supporters overpowering border guards went viral, with pro-Western lawmaker Svitlana Zalishchuk labelling it a "circus". "When people brought me to Ukraine on their hands, I left my passport on the bus".

Saakashvili said he would travel to all regions of Ukraine to unite "different political forces around a common theme that we must have a democracy and we should not let oligarchs hold sway".

In early September, Georgia asked Ukraine to arrest and extradite Saakashvili for the third time.

Police have launched a criminal investigation into Sunday's incident, while General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko said those who crossed the border illegally would be prosecuted. "Misha!" (Saakashvili's nickname) and waving yellow-and-blue Ukrainian flags, the now stateless politician made his way to the Shehyny checkpoint, which was closed by Kiev's authorities earlier Sunday, according to media reports.

"This is a question of the national security of the state". Georgian authorities are seeking his extradition to face a range of charges of misappropriating property and abuse of office, RFE says.

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

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