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Saakashvili needs visa to enter Ukraine - Ukrainian prosecutors

August 11, 2017, 2:51 UTC+3 KIEV

Georgia's former minister was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship after he resigned as the governor of Ukraine's Odessa

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 Mikheil Saakashvili

Mikheil Saakashvili

© Arkhip Vereshchyagin/TASS

KIEV, August 11. /TASS/. Former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, Mikheil Saakashvili, will need a Ukrainian visa to enter the country, Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor General Yevgeny Yenin said on Thursday.

"The entry into Ukraine by Saakashvili (now a stateless person, if any information about him having passports of third states proves to be wrong) is possibly only after him obtaining a visa," the official wrote on his Facebook page.

He added that the inability to enter Ukraine to attend court hearings regarding his citizenship is not a violation of Saakashvili's right for fair trial.

"The right to enter a foreign country is not enshrined by the Convention [on Human Rights]. A plaintiff can find a legal representative to defend his interests," Yenin added.

Saakashvili was Georgia’s president from January 2004 to November 2007 and from January 2008 to November 2013. He left his country in mid-November 2013, days before his presidential term expired and inauguration of the current head of state.

After his departure from Georgia, Saakashvili lived in the United States and Ukraine. Before being appointed Odessa governor in late May 2015, he worked in Kiev as chief of the International Reform Council. He was granted Ukrainian citizenship in early May 2015. On November 7, 2016, he announced his resignation claiming corruption steered by ‘brazen billionaires’ was the main reason for his decision.

He has been stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship in late July for "consciously presenting untrue information and false documents," according to an official statement placed on the website of the state migration service.

Earlier, Saakashvili’s party - Movement of New Forces - said the move meant "that President Pyotr Poroshenko follows in the footsteps of his predecessor to take unconstitutional actions for the sake of usurping and retaining power at any cost."

Currently, according to Saakashvili, he is touring European countries with the Ukrainian passport. He showed it at a meeting with "Warsaw Maidan" activists in the Polish capital and said that he was "very proud of it." The former Georgian president also noted that he had not had any problems with both leaving the US and arriving in Europe.

Saakashvili is wanted by Georgia on charges of a crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in November 2007; illegal intrusion into the building of the Imedi television channel; illegal acquisition of property belonging to businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili; organization of an armed attack on lawmaker Valery Gelashvili in 2005; covering-up a crime and falsification of an investigation into the 2006 murder of banker Sandro Girgvliani; and misappropriation of about $5 million from state funds in 2009-2012.

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