Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service said that the Georgian-born politician was removed from Ukraine on February 12 because he was in the country illegally. Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian President, has been deported to Poland.
On Monday, Mikheil Saakashvili was detained by the Ukrainian security forces at a Georgian restaurant near the headquarters of his New Forces party in the capital, Kyiv, before being transported to a nearby airport. The ex-Georgian President came to Ukraine illegally in September, since then, the local authorities tried to deport him back to Poland.
A post on Saakashvili’s Facebook page said he was held by unidentified men in masks and taken away.
“The kidnappers were in three white Volkswagen minivans,”
it said. Representatives of Saakashvili are describing the incident in starkly different terms. A short video clip showed gun-toting men in camouflage struggling with a man inside a restaurant and shouting at him to lie down and stay down. One of the armed men kicks the man when he is prone.
“The criminal case against me is a complete lie. Putin and Poroshenko and Ivanishvili want to get rid of me,”
Saakashvili said in a Facebook video in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Hours later, he called reporters from Warsaw with his account of the confrontation: “They broke into the cafe,” he said. “They tried to close my eyes, tie my hands.”
Within hours Saakashvili had been placed on a plane to Poland. Earlier this month Saakashvili lost his appeal for protection against the possibility of getting extradited to Georgia to stand charges.