The former governor of the Odessa region, Mikheil Saakashvili, is prohibited from entering Ukraine until February 13, 2021, as stated in a letter by the Deputy Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Servatiuk, Interfax Ukraine reports. The letter was provided to the agency by Saakashvili’s lawyer, Ruslan Chernolutsky.
The letter states that the State Border Guard Service considers that the prohibition is consistent with the law. Saakashvili’s lawyers consider the decision illegal and intended to appeal, the lawyer added.
The spokesperson of the State Border Guard Service, Oleh Slobodyan, confirmed this information to UNN news agency. According to him, the decision was made by the commander of the Mostynsky unit in the Lviv region. According to Slobodyan, it was in this area of the border where the politician broke into the territory of Ukraine in September last year.
On February 12th, the politician was detained in Ukraine and deported to Poland. Authorities explained that Saakashvili was present in the country in violation of migration laws. The Ministry of Internal affairs of Ukraine added that the politician was detained in a restaurant in Kyiv.
Saakashvili obtained Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 before being appointed as the governor of the Odessa region. The Georgian politician worked in this position for about a year, and then resigned. After that he formed the Rukh Novykh Syl movement (Movement of New Forces) which organized protests against the current authorities. In July 2017, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko revoked his Ukrainian citizenship. The President explained his decision saying that Saakashvili provided false data in the application for citizenship.
After that Saakashvili left Ukraine, but in September tried to get back into the country. He broke through to Ukraine together with supporters on September 10. The Ukrainian court fined him 3,400 thousand hryvnia for that (about 130 US dollars).
The politician applied to the Kyiv District Administrative court to recognize his expulsion from the territory of Ukraine as illegal. The former Governor of the Odessa region tried separately to appeal Poroshenko’s decision to revoke his citizenship, but on February 16 the Supreme Court terminated the proceedings in the case.
Saakashvili sought political asylum in Ukraine, but the State Migration Service refused the request.