After a former Georgian president and ex-chairman of the Odesa Regional State Administration, Mikhail Saakashvili, announced his intention to arrive in Ukraine on April 1, 2019, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine noted Saakashvili had been banned from entering the country until 2021.
“As of today, there are no grounds for Saakashvili’s legal entry into Ukraine because he is not a citizen of Ukraine and there is a ban on his entry until 2021,” Oleh Slobodyan, an assistant to the head of the State Border Guard Service said in a comment to UNIAN.
He stressed that border guards always act within the framework of law and powers granted to them.
Earlier, Saakashvili, in an interview with journalist Dmytro Gordon, said that he intended to arrive in Ukraine on April 1.
“I have an e-ticket for April 1 of this year. From Warsaw I'll be flying to Kyiv and at 14:05, I plan to land in the Boryspil Airport. I bought this ticket because I'm sure that Poroshenko won't make it to the second round,” Saakashvili said, suggesting that he could be let in the country in this case.
As UNIAN reported earlier, at the end of July 2017, President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree on terminating Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship he had been granted earlier before he took up the top post in the Odesa State Regional Administration.
According to Anton Gerashchenko, a member of the Council of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Saakashvili was deprived of citizenship after it was proved he had provided inaccurate information while applying for it, in particular, in terms of his criminal record back in Georgia.
On September 10, 2017, Saakashvili, earlier deprived of Ukrainian citizenship, managed to cross into Ukraine at the Shehyni checkpoint.
A crowd of the politician's supporters broke through the cordons of the Ukrainian law enforcers, took Saakashvili and a number of MPs and public figures accompanying Saakashvili in a tight ring, and literally forced the group's entry to the territory of Ukraine evading standard border control routine.
According to Anton Gerashchenko, Saakashvili was accompanied by people's deputies Yulia Tymoshenko, Serhiy Vlasenko, Yury Derevianko, Pavlo Kostenko, Dmytro Dobrodomov, and former SBU chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that the border guards during penetration of the state border by Saakashvili along with his entourage had full right to use weapons, but did not allow to "spark fire sought by populist politicians."
On December 5, law enforcers detained Saakashvili in Kyiv but later the same day his supporters managed to get him released from the convoy vehicle.
On December 11, a district court in Kyiv refused to satisfy the prosecution’s petition to order a 2-month house arrest. The Kyiv Court of Appeal four times postponed the consideration of the appeal against the said court decision.
The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine put Saakashvili on the wanted list on charges of assisting members of criminal organizations and concealing their criminal activities (part 2 of article 256).
According to Prosecutor General Yury Lutsenko, Saakashvili organized protests to seize state power in Ukraine and assist members of the criminal gang of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and businessman Sergey Kurchenko in halting stopping their criminal prosecution.
On February 12, 2018, Saakashvili was transferred to Poland under the readmission procedure.