Stateless politician Mikhail Saakashvili declared recently while traveling in Ukraine that the country will break up if rampant corruption is not curbed in the country and the people given better economic opportunity. Saakashvili recently returned to Ukraine, after President Petro Poroshenko revoked his citizenship, by breaking through border control with a crowd of supporters.
“If Ukraine doesn’t change it will continue to break up,” he told The Telegraph. “You go to the east and you see whole cities that no longer trade with Russia and are really in a desperate situation. They don’t have any prospects and there is no light at the end of the tunnel for them.
“If you keep economic growth as it is now, if you keep corruption as it now then Ukraine is going to lose further territories in the east and the south because people will be simply fed up,” he said, reported The Telegraph.
“I don’t want any position—president or prime minister…Doing that gives me the chance to bring the opposition together because they don’t see me as a competitor.
“I want to consolidate the opposition, and, anyway, at the moment I’m not even a citizen of Ukraine.”
“The only chance Ukraine has is to have double-digit economic growth, and this will show the east and the south of the country, and the whole of Ukraine, that there is a future…What the government is doing now is not enough.”
The corruption problem is systemic in Ukraine, a holdover from seventy years of Soviet existence. Oligarchs have played both sides of the fence in the conflict with Russia, focused on preserving their wealth and power. There are reports that the Poroshenko government has used the power of the state against its political opposition, arresting and charging those that threaten it’s power.
The Poroshenko government seems to not be worried about Saakashvili’s presence. “We’ll do nothing about him. What should we do?” said Volodymyr Groysman, the Ukrainian prime minister. We’ll let society deal with these populists,” wrote The Telegraph.