Ukrainian opposition leader Saakashvili flies to Netherlands
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Ukrainian opposition leader Mikheil Saakashvili flew to the Netherlands, his wife’s home country, on Wednesday after being ejected from Ukraine into neighboring Poland.
It was not immediately clear how long he planned to stay or what he will do in the Netherlands.
Asked by Dutch national broadcaster NOS on Wednesday if he would stay long, Saakashvili replied, “We will see.”
He added he was there “because of what happened in Ukraine ... but obviously it’s a country I come to very often anyway.”
Saakashvili was Georgia’s president from 2004 to 2013, and later was given a governorship in Ukraine by then-ally President Petro Poroshenko. He has since criticized Poroshenko for failing to stem corruption and has led anti-government protests.
At a news conference in Warsaw on Tuesday, Saakashvili described his detention in Kiev by armed, masked men and immediate expulsion to neighboring Poland as a violation of international laws and vowed to continue encouraging Ukrainians to oppose authorities he described as “corrupt elites.”
“We will have millions of people protesting in the streets of Ukraine,” Saakashvili said.
He said he planned to seek support for his political activity by meeting European leaders and lawmakers.