Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Stateless ex-Georgian leader to settle in Netherlands

Stateless ex-Georgian leader to settle in Netherlands

Mikheil Saakashvili has arrived in the Netherlands, his wife's home country, after being expelled from Ukraine into neighboring Poland.

Saakashvili told Dutch national broadcaster NOS on Wednesday he was there "because of what happened in Ukraine... but obviously it's a country I come to very often anyway". He has already received a temporary residence permit.

Poroshenko said Saakashvili would help Ukraine battle corruption, citing his success of all but eradicating it in Georgia during his presidency there from 2004 to 2013.

A video posted on Saakashvili's official Facebook page showed several armed men in green military uniforms approaching a man lying on the floor of a restaurant.

Saakashvili is now stateless, having lost his Georgian citizenship in 2015 when he accepted Ukrainian citizenship to become governor of Odessa.

"I will return to Ukraine, because I have a legitimate right to live there".


Saakashvili wants to settle in the Netherlands

Saakashvili said that he will not give up on his battle against President Petro Poroshenko's government despite being outside Ukraine, RFE/RL reported.

But there was no immediate sign of public outcry, unlike in December when police tried to arrest Saakashvili but he escaped custody during street protests. He is now a stateless person.

Saakashvili was detained in Kiev on Monday and deported to Poland.

"We will defeat him for sure, we will prevail over him thorough the peaceful resistance of the Ukrainian people", Saakashvili on February 13 told Current Time Television, a project of RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA.

The second option would have had a similar effect, since Saakashvili faces prison in Georgia for what he calls politically-motivated charges over abuse of presidential office with his pardon powers.

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