Ex-Georgian leader forces way into Ukraine to reclaim citizenship

Ex-Georgian leader forces way into Ukraine to reclaim citizenship

Former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili has forced his way into his adoptive country, Ukraine, in an attempt to reclaim his citizenship, which was revoked by his one-time ally President Petro Poroshenko in July amid a political dispute, Press TV reports.

On Sunday, Saakashvili — escorted by hundreds of his supporters — breached the Ukrainian border, pushing aside the guards and making his way into the country from Poland’s Medyka border crossing.

Saakashvili served as Georgian president from 2004 to 2013, but he lost the citizenship of his native country after he was granted a Ukrainian passport in 2015. Under Georgia’s law, individuals are not allowed to hold dual nationality.

Ukrainian police said they have opened criminal proceedings into Saakashvili’s illegal border crossing. Scuffles broke out at the border between the crowd and border guards as they were trying to block his entry. At least 16 border guards and National guardsmen were injured, according to officials.

Saakashvili said the border authorities “provoked and provoked” people. He, however, praised the border guards for not “using violence.”