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Saakashvili: “My goal is not to be president or PM of Ukraine”

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 13
Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, whose crowd of supporters broke through a police cordon into Ukraine several days ago with his supporters after the cancellation of his Ukrainian citizenship, says he is not planning to run for either the post of president or prime minister in Ukraine.

He stated the importance of bringing a new generation into Ukrainian politics.

"Some are asking me if I am going to set up a new party with Tymoshenko. I am grateful for their solidarity; they were fighting together with me all day long. I thank Tymoshenko and everyone else for that. There were many MPs, I am very grateful to them, but at the same time, there were thousands of other people. I acted together with them. We will create a party together with these people and then we will talk about the rules of the game,” Saakashvili stated in Lviv, Ukraine.

“My goal is to bring new people into the Ukrainian government who will change the country,” Saakashvili stressed.

He claimed he was offered the Polish citizenship and a high salary but he refused because of his goals in Ukraine.

On September 12, Saakashvili became acquainted with the administrative protocol on the illegal crossing of the border and signed it in front of Hotel Leopolis in Lviv.

Georgia’s ex-president noted that the protocol was to be given to him within three hours after the border crossing.

"Everything is simple. The protocol was to be given to me within three hours after the border crossing. They cannot say that I was hiding. I was in Lviv's main square together with thousands of locals. But what they are doing now is a violation of the law," Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili also stated that his stolen passport (he said his passport was stolen by Ukrainian police from the bus he sat in before heading to Ukraine) is most likely in the office of the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.

"I do not have any other documents now," he added.

Saakashvili, who served as Georgia’s third president from 2004-2007 and again from 2008-2013, is accused of the violent dispersal of anti-government mass protests on November 7, 2007; the unlawful raiding of the Imedi television company by riot police; and the illegal take-over of property owned by late media tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili.

In 2014, Saakashvili was officially charged in Georgia; however, by the time his case went through court he was already in Ukraine.

On May 30 2015, Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili as head of Ukraine’s Odessa region. At the same time he was also granted Ukrainian citizenship.

Receiving Ukrainian citizenship meant Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship was automatically revoked, as Georgian legislation prohibits people from holding dual citizenship, except for in exceptional circumstances.

Saakashvili’s deprivation of his Ukrainian citizenship came shortly after Poroshenko’s first visit to Georgia in mid-July this year. At that time Saakashvili was already in opposition in Ukraine and was accusing Poroshenko of lobbying for corruption.

During the visit, Poroshenko said that he “did not know” Georgia had twice requested Saakashvili’s extradition.

Saakashvili, who was in the United States that time, claimed that he would return to Ukraine and continue his fight there.