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Ex-president of Georgia says restoration of his Ukrainian citizenship impossible

Saakashvili says it's very unlikely during Poroshenko’s presidency

KIEV, December 29. /TASS/. Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who is also a former governor of Ukraine's Odessa region and a former citizen of Ukraine, feels confident he will not be able to restore his Ukrainian citizenship with the aid of a court motion while President Poroshenko holds the helm of power in Kiev.

He said it on Friday on a show aired by NewsVan channel.

"It’s very unlikely during Poroshenko’s [presidency]," Saakashvili said. "But I am sure we’ll be able to restore my citizenship by filing a lawsuit as soon as the government in Ukraine changes because he [Poroshenko] revokes my citizenship illegitimately, in defiance of all rules."

He also claimed he did not have virtually any levers of influence on the protesters who had put up a tent camp by the building of the Verkhovna Rada national parliament in Kiev.

"I didn’t goad them there," Saakashvili said. "These are ordinary people and someone should talk to them, and if I tell them tomorrow to go home they won’t do it because they have the outlooks and approaches of their own and that’s why the authorities have a duty to speak to them."

The twists and turns of Saakashvili’s relations with the Poroshenko administrations propelled him to the position of Odessa governor in May 2015 and plummeted him to the position of a stateless person in July 2017, several days after he quitted the gubernatorial office.

At the beginning of September, Saakashvili managed to break through into Ukraine from the territory of Poland with the physical help from his supporters. The authorities accused him of illegal border crossing.

Immediately after his questionable return to Ukraine, Saakashvili filed an application with the country’s immigration service to get the status of a person standing in need of additional protection or, in other words, seeking asylum. However, the service turned his request down and Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko said Kiev did not have any commitments that might impede Saakashvili’s extradition to Georgia where is wanted for a number of offenses.

Saakashvili filed a petition against the ruling of the immigration service. Also, he filed a lawsuit to recognize the presidential decree on terminating his citizenship illegal.

The immigration service issued permission to Saakashvili to sojourn in the country on legal grounds through to March 1, 2018, and issued an appropriate certificate to him.