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Ukraine’s leader lashes out at Georgian Ex-President Saakashvili for crossing border

September 11, 15:16 UTC+3 KIEV

On July 26, Pyotr Poroshenko issued a decree stripping Mikhail Saakashvili of citizenship

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KIEV, September 11. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko criticized Georgian ex-president and former Odessa Region’s governor Mikhail Saakashvili for illegally crossing into Ukraine from Poland.

Poroshenko recalled that on July 26 he issued a decree stripping Saakashvili of citizenship and this decision has not been challenged in the court. "Instead, a crime was committed as there is a constitutional principle of inviolability of the state border. This is a matter of the state’s national security," he stressed.

"This incident (Saakashvili’s crossing of Ukraine’s border) does not need any political comments," Poroshenko said, adding that the border guards acted in a right way when refusing to use arms.

Police in Lvov, western Ukraine, where Saakashvili arrived to meet with his party’s supporters, have already launched criminal proceedings into the illegal crossing of the border. 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.

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. The border guard service added that a request would be filed with Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General’s Office over state border violation.

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

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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