Ukraine’s President Poroshenko has acted to remove former Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili from Ukraine, having Saakashvili arrested and bundled onto a private jet which flew him to Poland.
Saakashvili’s unceremonious removal from Ukraine appears to have been made at a time when legal proceedings to decide whether or not he should be removed from Ukraine were still underway. If so then Saakashvili’s removal is arguably illegal and shows contempt for the processes of the Ukrainian court.
I doubt however that anyone in Ukraine would either be surprised about that or would much care about it, and – sad to say – I doubt that the vigilant upholders of the law, human rights and due process in the US and EU, who claim to be Ukraine’s friends and who talk about steering Ukraine towards law governed EU-style democracy, would much care about it either.
Saakashvili’s removal from Ukraine removes from the Ukrainian political scene – at least for the moment – a political adventurer who had become something of a thorn in President Poroshenko’s side.
Saakashvili actually has only minimal levels of political support in Ukraine.
The problem for President Poroshenko is that there is not much support for him in Ukraine either – his approval rating has collapsed – so that any challenge to him from any quarter – including it seems from a figure as discredited and as unpopular as Saakashvili – is apparently more than he can tolerate.
The fact that Ukraine is due to hold Presidential elections next year almost certainly gave Poroshenko an extra incentive to get Saakashvili out of the country before the election cycle began, and he has now acted to make that happen.