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Kremlin brands Saakashvili’s illegal border crossing as 'political circus'

September 11, 15:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Moscow is not monitoring the border crossings of the former Georgian president, the Kremlin spokesman said

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© EPA-EFE/MYKOLA TYS

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has slammed Ukraine’s criminal probe launched against Georgian ex-president and former Odessa Region’s governor Mikhail Saakashvili over the illegal border crossing as "political circus."

Moscow is not monitoring the border crossings of Saakashvili, Peskov said."The Kremlin has many very serious issues on the agenda, which should be monitored, and we are dealing with this," Peskov told reporters. "I don’t think this issue (Saakashvili’s travel) is qualified as a serious one."

"More likely, this is an amusing issue that falls under the category of political circus," he said.

On Sunday evening, Saakashvili and his supporters broke through a police cordon at the Shegeni checkpoint at the Polish-Ukrainian border to cross into Ukraine. According to the State Border Guard Service, 12 National Police fighters and 10 border guards have sustained bodily harm. Earlier, Polish border guards let Saakashvili out of the country but warned about possible problems with the Ukrainian side.

Ukraine’s police have already launched a criminal case into the illegal border crossing. This crime is punishable by up to five years behind bars. Other criminal cases may be also opened against the politician, a spokesperson for the State Border Guard Service said.

The former Georgian president, who was charged with several crimes, was granted Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015, which resulted in his Georgian citizenship being revoked. Saakashvili served as Ukraine’s Odessa Region Governor but in November 2016 he tendered resignation, set up his own party and started criticizing the authorities. On July 26, 2017, while Saakashvili was in the United States, Poroshenko stripped him of the Ukrainian citizenship.

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