Image by Mykola Vasylechko, Світлина Миколи Василечка
Former Georgian president, mayor of Odessa, and Poroshenko confidant, Mikhail Saakashvili today received some unexpected support in his bid to stay in the country, retain his Ukrainian citizenship, and eventually challenge Petro Poroshenko for the presidency of Ukraine, from the prosecutor general of the country, Yuriy Lutsenko. Poroshenko had attempted to prevent Saakashvili from returning to Ukraine but failed.
Lutsenko said today that Saakashvili cannot be arrested as desired by the president, in a big boost to Saakashvili’s agenda.
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“Saakashvili will not be arrested in this case, Saakashvili cannot be extradited from this country while he has a residence permit or other document that he has filed,” said today at the Yalta European Strategy conference in Kyiv, reported The Independent.
Ukraine Strips Ex-Georgian President Saakashvili Of Citizenship
Saakashvili fell out of favor with the Ukrainian president after targeting those close to him in an anti-corruption campaign. The former Georgian president resigned as mayor of Odessa after declaring he could not stop the corruption and accused the president of being involved. Odessa is a famously corrupt area and one of Ukraine’s major ports.