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Saakashvili breaks through police cordon at border checkpoint into Ukraine

September 10, 20:48 updated at: September 11, 20:47 UTC+3 KIEV

Earlier, Polish border guards let him out of the country but warned about possible problems with the Ukrainian side

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KIEV, September 10. /TASS/. Georgian ex-president and former governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, Mikhail Saakashvili, who is seeking to return to Ukraine, and his supporters have broken through a police cordon at the Shegeni checkpoint at the Polish-Ukrainian border to cross into Ukraine.

"Saakashvili and a group activists, who literally carried him in their arms, broke into Ukraine like a wave," Saakashvili’s supporter Yuri Derevyanko, a member of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament), said on Sunday.

Earlier, Polish border guards let him out of the country but warned about possible problems with the Ukrainian side. Ukraine did not want let him in and closed the checkpoint over alleged bomb call.

Initially, Saakashvili planned to enter Ukraine via the Krakovets motor checkpoint. His supporters put a tent camp near the checkpoint a day before his expected arrival. About a thousand of people gathered there for a rally in support of the politician, who has been stripped of Ukrainian citizenship. Later, Saakashvili said he would opt for a train to avoid provocations.

However, the Przemysl-Kiev train was first delayed for about two hours to be ultimately cancelled. Ukraine’s Railway Company Urkzaliznytsya explained the move by "the presence in the train of a person without necessary documents."

After that, Saakashvili opted to use a bus to get to the border with Ukraine.

Saakashvili is being accompanies by a number of members of Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament), including former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. Apart from that, former chief of Ukraine’s Security Service Valentin Nalivaiko was seen in the train.

In May 2015, Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship, which resulted in his Georgian citizenship being revoked.

Saakashvili served as Ukraine’s Odessa Region Governor from May 30, 2015, to November 9, 2016. On July 26, 2017, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko stripped him of the Ukrainian citizenship. Saakashvili then traveled to the United States. In early August, he was in Poland, and then went to Lithuania and Hungary.

On August 26, Saakashvili claimed that the Ukrainian and Georgian authorities were plotting to accuse him of preparing a coup in Georgia.

On September 5, Ukraine’s Deputy Justice Minister Sergey Petukhov said Georgia asked Ukraine to arrest and extradite Saakashvili. According to Petukhov, Kiev has already started checks in preparation for the extradition.

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