Saakashvili set to return to Georgia soon – media
Ex-President of Georgia and ex-Governor of Ukraine's Odesa region Mikheil Saakashvili is set to return to Georgia soon.
"I am going to arrive in Georgia in the coming months. It is not a secret," Saakashvili told Georgia's TV channel Mtavari Arkhi, according to Georgia Today.
He noted that it is up to the Georgian people whether he will be arrested or not.
"I feel good in Ukraine, but when you lose your homeland... Now I'm in Odesa, and every second person I meet in the street asks me to become the mayor. I'm leading the polls here, people are begging me to become the mayor, but this is one topic. We must restore statehood in Georgia and stop the process of its destruction. Of course, I am taking part in this process. I am going to arrive in Georgia in the nearest future," he said.
When asked if he was going to go to jail, he responded: "It's up to people. Will they allow Ivanishvili to do it? I, together with the Georgian people, will end Ivanishvili's rule in Georgia. Let politicians stand aside. I am not a politician, I am the creator of Georgian statehood. I am a patriot. I was not scared to come to Ukraine and I'm not afraid to come to Georgia with my people," he said, adding that he always fulfills his promises.
Saakashvili was the third President of Georgia for two consecutive terms from January 25, 2004 to November 17, 2013. From May 2015 until November 2016, he served as governor of Ukraine's Odesa region. He is the founder and former chairman of the United National Movement Party in Georgia.
On October 2, 2012, he admitted his party's defeat in Georgia's parliamentary election against the Georgian Dream coalition led by tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili. He was barred by the constitution of Georgia from seeking a third term in the 2013 presidential election, which was won by the Georgian Dream's candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili. Shortly after the election, he left Georgia. He is wanted by Georgia's new government on multiple criminal charges, which he decries as politically motivated.
On May 30, 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed him as Governor of Odesa region. He was also granted Ukrainian citizenship and due to restrictions on dual nationality under Georgian law, was stripped of Georgian citizenship.
On November 7, 2016, Saakashvili resigned as governor while blaming the then President Poroshenko personally for enabling corruption in Odesa and in Ukraine overall. Four days later, he announced his goal to create a new political party called Movement of New Forces.
On July 26, 2017, he was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by Poroshenko, and became a stateless person. On May 29, 2019, he returned to Ukraine after newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky had restored his Ukrainian citizenship.