Saakashvili Asks for Asylum in Ukraine

After returning to Ukraine, ex-President of Georgia and former Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa Oblast, Mikheil Saakashvili has requested asylum in Ukraine, on grounds of a person in need of special protection, which in turn stops him being extradited to another country.

The information was released by Saakashvili’s lawyer Markian Galabala.

“After the issue of the decree on terminating Saakashvili’s citizenship, he automatically acquired status as a person without citizenship permanently residing in Ukraine, and, in line with Ukrainian law, the extradition of such persons is prohibited,” he said.

The State Immigration Service of Ukraine has not responded to Saakashvili’s request yet.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Justice Ministry stated they will make a decision on the ex-president’s extradition to Georgia after relevant checks.

“The Justice Ministry will make the final decision depending on the relevant materials. Politics has nothing to do with the issue at all,” Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavel Petrenko stated.

Saakashvili was the third president of Georgia from 2004-2007 and again in 2008-2013.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015, when appointing him as the Governor of Odessa. 

In December 2015, Georgian authorities stripped Saakashvili of Georgian citizenship as dual citizenship is not allowed in Georgia. 

In November 2016, Saakashvili quit his post and formed an opposition party and was seen heavily criticizing the Ukrainian authorities, which led to a disagreement between Poroshenko and the ex-Georgian President.

Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship in July.

After losing his Ukrainian citizenship, Saakashvili returned to Ukraine on September 10, with the help of his supporters, who broke through the line of security forces and pulled Saakashvili from neutral territory between Poland and Ukraine, and onto Ukrainian territory.

By Thea Morrison

Related Stories:

Saakashvili “Triumphantly” Returns to Ukraine

Ukraine Deprives Georgia’s Ex-President Saakashvili of Citizenship

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Does Not Exclude Extradition of Saakashvili to Georgia



04 October 2017 10:49