Worldwide

Ex-President Saakashvili pledges to tour Ukraine

Ex-President Saakashvili pledges to tour Ukraineā€

Surrounded by supporters, Saakashvili broke through a cordon of Ukrainian border guards at the Ukraine-Poland border Sunday.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov had earlier called the border breach by Saakashvili "an attack on the state's basic institutions" and said all those responsible should turn themselves in.

"I am fighting against rampant corruption, against the fact that oligarchs are in full control of Ukraine again, against the fact that the Maidan has been betrayed", he said.

In a country that, in the past four years, has witnessed high political drama, invasion and war - from the ouster of a Moscow-backed president by popular street protests to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the Kremlin fomenting of conflict and separatism in the Donbas in the east of the country - Sunday's circus-like incident may seem minor by comparison.

Saakashvili lost his Georgian citizenship in 2015 when he was granted Ukrainian citizenship in order to take up Poroshenko's offer to become governor of the Black Sea region of Odesa.

Kiev is "panicking", Saakashvili said, adding that he did "not want to overthrow President Poroshenko" but just defend his rights.

Back home in Georgia, he started out as an internationally praised reformer but later he was criticised for monopolising power and exerting pressure on the judiciary. He was president at the time of a disastrous five-day war with Russian Federation in 2008, a conflict that his critics argued was the result of his own miscalculations. "This is very sad", Saakashvili said Friday in Warsaw.

Their relationship dates back almost three decades to when they were students at the same university in Kiev and their shared opposition to the Russian government brought them together as politicians.

Saakashvili has said he was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by his one-time ally Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko because Poroshenko views him as a threat.

A criminal investigation was launched against Saakashvili after he defied Ukrainian authorities and returned to the country that stripped him of citizenship in July.

Now, Saakashvili wants to return to challenge that decision in court and get back into politics.

Saakashvili said "several hundred thugs were mobilised by the Ukrainian government to stop several thousand" of his supporters waiting to greet him on the Ukrainian side.

"Now this is a matter of law enforcement agencies and they have begun to act", Poroshenko said.

Ukraine's record of implementing reforms has been patchy since Poroshenko took office in 2014.

"We believe that Mikheil Saakashvili can lead our country out of the crisis", Lyudmyla Goretska, one of thousands of supporters waiting in Krakovets on the Ukrainian side of the border, told AFP. However, Saakashvili said in August that he is going to come back to Ukraine from Poland on September 10, 2017.

Reuters also reported that reformist lawmaker Mustafa Nayyem, one of the leaders of the Maidan protests and a member of Poroshenko's faction in parliament, traveled with Saakashvili and has accused Kyiv authorities of trying to silence opponents.

Kiev could leave Saakashvili alone, arrest him and possibly extradite him to Georgia. The 49-year-old is now wanted on criminal charges in Georgia, which he says were trumped up for political reasons.



Like this

Latest


13 September 2017
Kathie Lee Gifford's mother Joan Epstein dies at 87
Kotb posted on her personal account a photo of her and Gifford with their mothers, writing "We will miss you sweet Joannie". She also opened up about how much her mother meant to her and how much she supported her in achieving her dreams.

13 September 2017
Target hiring thousands for holiday season
Target is hiring more than 100,000 temporary workers for the holidays - a sharp increase over past year . Hiring events for store positions will be held at each of Target's 1,816 stores from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m.

13 September 2017
Which insiders are trading TETRA Technologies, Inc. (TTI)?
Their average price target spell out an upbeat performance - a 104% and would give TTI a market capitalization of almost $502.13M. Paloma Ptnrs Management Co owns 38,026 shares. (NYSE:SE) has "Outperform" rating given on Monday, June 27 by RBC Capital Markets.

13 September 2017
Junior Cert results day for Kilkenny students
Five pupils at one Limerick school are celebrating after they each achieved nine As in the in their Junior Cert exams. Some 3,240 students in the county will receive the results of last June's exams from their schools today.

13 September 2017
European Commission takes second step against Poland
It said it was giving Warsaw one month to address judicial changes which it believes violate the rule of law. Brussels has warned that the new rules allow the justice minister to influence individual judges.

13 September 2017
Thousands without power in coastal Georgia from severe storm
Forrest and his roommate chose to ignore a mandatory evacuation order and ride out the storm in their apartment. The state has few refineries of its own and tankers and barges will have to deliver virtually all of its fuel.

13 September 2017
After US Compromise, Security Council Strengthens North Korea Sanctions
Nor does the resolution impose a travel ban or asset freeze on Kim, as the original US draft had set out. Besides, the UN Security Council has also capped crude oil and refined petroleum products deliveries.

13 September 2017
US Supreme Court Allows Trump's Broad Refugee Ban
The dispute concerned the reach of the high court's June ruling , which allowed the president's order to take partial effect. On the other hand, the court said, relationships formed for the goal of evading the travel ban did not count.

13 September 2017
Top Bookmakers Name Odds-On Favourites for 2017-2018 NBA Championship Success
As a result, the Warriors won the championship for a fifth time, taking back the title that they last won as recently as 2015. The two teams have met in the final for three consecutive years, with the Cavs picking up the title just once, in 2016.

23 June 2017
Marvel Looks To Shake Its Poor Gaming Reputation
The games are well designed with attractive graphics and extensive content, but neither is viewed as a flawless experience. These games tend to be actually well done for what they are, and in a way they’ve been the pride of Marvel gaming.



Recommended