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Stateless Ex-Georgian president Saakashvili ejected from Polish train

Wanted for abuse of power in his native Georgia, Saakashvili was denied boarding on a train headed to Ukraine, where he’s been stripped of citizenship

PRZEMYSL, September 10 (Sputnik) – Former Georgian President and ex-Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa Region Mikheil Saakashvili said on Sunday that he had changed his strategy for returning to Ukraine by train and turned to his initial plan to enter the country by car via the Krakowiec checkpoint on Ukraine-Poland border.

In August, Saakashvili announced that he would return to Ukraine by car through the Krakowiec crossing point. However, he changed his plans and decided to take a train instead. Earlier in the day, a train, carrying Saakashvili, was prevented from leaving a railway station in the Polish town of Przemysl, with the railroad staff asking him to leave the train.

During a press conference, Saakashvili said that he and his supporters were returning to the initial plan and were about to head to the Krakowiec checkpoint by car. The former Georgian president stressed that he intended to legally enter Ukraine and therefore needed to get in touch with Ukrainian border guards.

Meanwhile, former Ukrainian Prime Minister and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party head Yulia Tymoshenko said she and Saakashvili had appealed to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine following the delay of the train.

Earlier on Sunday, thousands of Saakashvili’s supporters gathered at the Krakowiec checkpoint. Ukrainian police said more than 100 people had been detained near the crossing point. The Ukrainian forces also detained a topless activist from the feminist group Femen, who came to the checkpoint to protest against Saakashvili’s return to Ukraine.

Saakashvili was appointed Odessa Region’s governor in May 2015 and granted Ukrainian passport, but he lost his Georgian citizenship upon receiving the Ukrainian one. Saakashvili resigned in November 2016, accusing Ukrainian officials of lack of interest in the fight against corruption.

On July 26, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revoked Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship when it was discovered that he had violated the law by providing incorrect information on his citizenship application. Saakashvili was away from the country when the decision was made.

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