Tags: EU | Ukraine | Saakashvili

Ukrainian Police Arrive at Saakashvili's Hotel

Ukrainian Police Arrive at Saakashvili's Hotel

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 04:50 AM

LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian border guards and police turned up at the hotel where Mikhail Saakashvili is staying Tuesday after he forced his way across the border from Poland in a move that puts him on a collision course with the authorities in Kiev.

Television footage showed Ukrainian security officials in Leopolis Hotel's lobby in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. But it was unclear whether they had come to arrest the former Georgian president and ex-governor of Ukraine's Odessa region.

Saakashvili poses a challenge to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who was once his patron but revoked his Ukrainian citizenship in July. Surrounded by supporters, he broke through a cordon of Ukrainian border guards in chaotic scenes at the Ukraine-Poland border Sunday.

But returning to Ukraine was a risk for Saakashvili, who is stateless because he was forced to give up his Georgian citizenship when he received Ukrainian nationality. Saakashvili denies breaking any Ukrainian laws but Poroshenko has said that he committed a crime by entering the country.

The headstrong and divisive Saakashvili leads a small Ukrainian political party called the Movement of New Forces and has vowed to shake-up Ukrainian politics.

In an interview with The Associated Press at his hotel on Monday night, Saakashvili called the current situation in Ukraine "tragic" and said he would devote himself to helping to create a "new political class for an emerging Ukraine."

"We need new people. Ukraine is fed up with old corrupt political class. They want new people, new energy, new faces, new ideas," he told the AP.

Saakashvili was appointed governor of Odessa in 2015 on the strength of his record of fighting corruption as Georgian president between 2004 and 2013. However, he resigned from the Odessa post after 18 months, complaining that official corruption in Ukraine was so entrenched he couldn't work effectively.

Saakashvili said Sunday that it is "very important not to allow oligarchs to get away with an imitation of reform."

Georgia, where Saakashvili faces accusations of abuse of power and misappropriation of property, has sent an extradition request for him to Ukraine. It is not clear if Ukraine intends to honor that request.

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Ukrainian border guards and police turned up at the hotel where Mikhail Saakashvili is staying Tuesday after he forced his way across the border from Poland in a move that puts him on a collision course with the authorities in Kiev.Television footage showed Ukrainian...
EU,Ukraine,Saakashvili
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2017-50-12
Tuesday, 12 September 2017 04:50 AM
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