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Expert believes Saakashvili will cling to Ukraine career

However, in the expert’s words, Mikheil Saakashvili’s presence in Ukrainian politics may seem dangerous to his opponents

KIEV, November 7. /TASS/. Mikheil Saakashvili who has just stepped down as Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, is likely to continue his career in Ukraine but the authorities will soon try to push him out of the political arena, Ukrainian political expert Andrei Zolotaryov told TASS on Monday.

"Saakashvili is more likely to pursue his political career in Ukraine and try to breathe new life into his political party that hit the skids as a party project," Zolotaryov said.

However, in the expert’s words, Saakashvili’s presence in Ukrainian politics may seem dangerous to his opponents. "They will try to push him out of the country because if his party participates in the (parliamentary) elections, then there is a small chance that the Pyotr Poroshenko bloc (headed by Ukraine’s president) plans to enter parliament would be ruined," the expert suggested. In this connection, he predicted that Saakashvili still may move abroad to serve as a "ceremonial bystander in some international organization or to commit himself to teaching."

Zolotaryov elaborated that Saakashvili constituted a problem for Poroshenko since "the European integration myth which was one of the current government’s pillars had collapsed, while the EU delayed the decision of providing a visa-free regime with Ukraine." Besides, according to the expert, the myth of reforms in Ukraine has also been crumbling to pieces. All this is the reason why "Poroshenko has one of the lowest ratings that any Ukrainian President has had in the 25 years of independence."

At the same time, the expert said that Saakashvili would not return to his native country. "He can go back to Georgia in the near future only as prisoner but that is not a prospect that could make him happy," Zolotaryov noted.

Mikheil Saakashvili announced his resignation as Odessa region’s governor earlier on Monday. He pinned his decision to step down on the fact that he found it impossible to combat corruption while top state officials including president Pyotr Poroshenko himself were involved.