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President Georgia: Saakashvili insulted our state by giving up Georgian citizenship

May 31, 2015, 16:49 UTC+3 TBILISI
"His disgraceful behavior is not understandable to me," Margvelashvili said
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TBILISI, May 31. /TASS/. Georgia’s President Georgy Margvelashvili said on Sunday a decision by his predecessor Mikheil Saakashvili to obtain Ukrainian citizenship without taking care for preserving his Georgian passport was an insult for the South Caucasus republic.

The Georgian leader made this statement in Kutaisi during the celebration of Police Day in Georgia.

"His disgraceful behavior is not understandable to me," the Georgian president said.

"By this decision, Saakashvili insulted our state and the institution of presidency. Values, including citizenship of one’s country, must be more important than a career," Margvelashvili said.

The former Georgian president should have kept his citizenship, he added.

Under Georgia’s legislation, a Georgian national who receives the citizenship of another state, automatically loses his country’s citizenship. However, double citizenship is permitted in Georgia and a foreigner needs to ask the Georgian president to grant him Georgia’s citizenship.

Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko signed a decree on May 30, appointing Saakashvili the governor of the Black Sea city of Odessa. Poroshenko also granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship to allow him to discharge his governor’s duties.

Poroshenko said Saakashvili was "a great friend of Ukraine" and expected him to conduct further reforms in the country.

Saakashvili left Georgia in November 2013 several days before the inauguration of the current head of state, Margvelashvili. At home, he is wanted for abuse of office, masterminding an armed attack against a legislator and the embezzlement of several million dollars from state coffers. Saakashvili has dismissed the charges as "groundless and politicized.".

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