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Saakashvili to challenge citizenship question in Ukrainian court


Saakashvili to challenge citizenship question in Ukrainian court

Mikheil Saakashvili will challenge his citizenship stripping in a Ukrainian district court today

Mikheil Saakashvili—the former president of Georgia and ex-governor of Ukraine’s Odessa Oblast— will appear in a Ukraine district court today to challenge a decision to strip him of his citizenship. Having relinquished his Georgian passport, Saakashvili is now stateless.

Despite being a fervent supporter of Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution in 2014, Ukrainian authorities stripped Mr Saakashvili of his citizenship under orders from President Petro Poroshenko in July. While the move was lawful under Ukrainian law, which requires citizenship applicants to declare any criminal cases they are a party to (something Saakashvili failed to do), the former Odessa governor has cried foul.

Saakashvili has been an outspoken critic of President Poroshenko, accusing him of corruption and nepotism—a conflict which saw him resign as the Odessa governor last November. He claims the move is politically motivated, an accusation he will bring to the courtroom today.

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With domestic anti-corruption reforms stagnating, there are increasing concerns that Ukraine may regress to a pre-Euromaidan oligarchical state of affairs.

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