The Latest: Saakashvili, backers break through into Ukraine
SHEHYNI, Ukraine (AP) — The Latest on former Georgia president and Ukraine governor Mikheil Saakashvili’s attempt to enter Ukraine (all times local):
Mikheil Saakashvili and a crowd of supporters are proceeding into Ukraine on foot after breaking through a line of guards on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
Saakashvili, a former Georgian president who later became governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, was stripped of his citizenship in July by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Saakashvili has called that move illegal and has vowed to return to contest it, although Ukraine said it would deny him entry.
He and a small group of supporters on Sunday pushed their way through a line of guards at the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing. The move came about eight hours after Saakashvili set off from Poland on a trip that included an attempt to get into Ukraine by train, but the train would not leave with him on it.
A crowd of Mikheil Saakashvili supporters have broken through a line of Ukrainian guards who were blocking him from approaching a Ukrainian checkpoint at Shehyni.
Saakashvili, formerly governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region and previously the president of Georgia, was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship this summer, but has vowed to return to contest the move’s legality.
Saakashvili had been blocked Sunday by arm-in-arm guards at a crossing on the Poland-Ukaine border. After the crowd broke through, Saakashvili went toward the checkpoint, but it was not clear if he would be allowed through.
Mihkeil Saakashvili has been allowed to pass through a Polish checkpoint on the border with Ukraine, but a line of border guards standing arm-in-arm are blocking his approach to the Ukrainian checkpoint.
Saakashvili, the former Georgian president and later governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship in July and is now stateless. He was aiming Sunday to return to Ukraine to challenge the revocation of his citizenship, but Ukraine has said his entry will be blocked.
He tried to travel to the Ukrainian city of Lviv on a train, but it was held in a Polish city until he got off. He then traveled by bus to the Medyka-Shehyni border crossing.
After hours of waiting aboard a stalled train that he hoped would carry him into Ukraine, Mikheil Saakashvili has decided to dismount and try to cross the border by bus.
Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who later became governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, had his citizenship revoked in July. Picardo said he’s hopeful Spain will not use the Brexit negotiations as an opportunity to re-exert control over the territory. On Sunday, Saakashvili boarded a Lviv-bound train in the Polish city of Przemysl, but the train stayed in the station. An on-board announcement said it would not leave until a person without rights to enter Ukraine got off.
After several hours of delay, Saakashvili boarded a bus that aims to enter Ukraine at the Medyka crossing.
Passengers aboard the Ukraine-bound train stalled by the presence of Mikheil Saakashvili have been told they can travel on in special buses.
The train, headed for Lviv, was held in the station in Przemysl, Poland, on Sunday for hours after Saakashvili boarded. An announcer said the train would not depart while someone unqualified to enter Ukraine was aboard.
Saakashvili, the former governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, had his citizenship revoked in July.
Saakashvili was president of Georgia in 2004-13, but rescinded his citizenship in order to become Odessa governor. He is now stateless.
He says the revocation of his Ukrainian citizenship by Saakashvili, the former governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, had his citizenship revoked in July.President Petro Poroshenko was illegal.
The train that Mikheil Saakashvili wants to ride into Ukraine despite the revocation of his citizenship is being held at a station in Poland.
Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who later became governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, is in a high-visibility campaign to regain the Ukrainian citizenship he was stripped of this summer.
He boarded the train in Przemysl that was to travel to the Ukrainian city of Lviv after abandoning a plan to cross the border by car.
But an announcement on the train’s public address system said it would be held in the station until “a person without the right to enter Ukrainian territory” left.
Saakashvili told journalists on the train that authorities were effectively holding hundreds of passengers hostage.
He said: “Can you imagine what kind of idiots we’re dealing with?”
Mikheil Saakashvili’s strategy for returning to Ukraine despite the revocation of his citizenship has changed.
Instead of trying to cross the border by car, the stateless ex-officeholder boarded a train that runs from the Polish city of Przemysl into the Ukrainian city of Lviv.
Formerly president of Georgia and later governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, Saakashvili has been stateless since Ukraine’s president revoked his citizenship in July. He earlier was stripped of his Georgian passport.
Saakashvili contends the revocation was illegal and that he wants to challenge it in Ukraine.
For weeks, he had declared plans to try to enter Ukraine at the Krakovets border crossing. Hundreds of his supporters have gathered on the Ukrainian side in anticipation.
But he said he would take the train to Lviv because of concern that “provocateurs” could cause trouble.
Mikheil Saakashvili, the former governor of Ukraine’s corruption-plagued Odessa region, has set off from a Polish city to the Ukraine border where he plans to try to re-enter the country that has revoked his citizenship.
Saakashvili told journalists in the Polish city of Rzeszow on Sunday: “I will not give up until I can cross the border.” Rzeszow is about 75 kilometers (45 miles) from the border.
Saakashvili was president of his native Georgia in 2004-2013. He earned plaudits for fighting corruption, but sparked animosity for what critics regarded as authoritarian tendencies.
He went into self-exile after leaving the presidency and was appointed to the Ukrainian governorship in 2015. He resigned about 18 months later, complaining of obstruction.
President Petro Poroshenko rescinded his Ukrainian citizenship in July for reasons that have not been detailed.