What are Mikheil Saakashvili's intentions in Ukraine

Saakashvili on Ukrainian soil

Ukraine blocked a border crossing to Poland, which Saakashvili wanted to cross on foot, but with the help of supporters on the Ukrainian side, the controversial politician got into the country. This is what journalists traveling with you report.

Before crossing the border, Saakashvili stood in front of a chain of Ukrainian national guards for a while. Then a group of his supporters from the Ukrainian side broke the chain and took him out of the no man's land near the town of Shehyni.

Before that, the train Saakashvili wanted to use to enter had been detained for hours in the Polish border town of Przemysl. Saakashvili was asked to get out over the loudspeaker because his entry into Ukraine was prohibited.

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko revoked his former friend, whom he had called in 2015 to help reform, of Ukrainian citizenship in July. Saakashvili was accompanied on the trip by the opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko and several Ukrainian and Polish MPs.

Tymoshenko's party friends tried to put pressure on the Ukrainian train boss and force a departure. On the Ukrainian side, several hundred supporters of Saakashvili awaited his arrival at the Krakowez road border crossing near Lviv.

Saakashvili's supporters received the politician at the border

About 100 men in camouflage clothing were arrested by the police for armed with gas balloons and blank pistols. It was unclear whether they were opponents or supporters of Saakashvili.

"Provocations" expected

Saakashvili had announced his intention to return to Ukraine weeks in advance. However, he changed the route at short notice on Sunday. Originally, he wanted to cross the Korczowa border post in a bus with journalists. Then he switched to the train on the grounds that "provocations were planned".

Saakashvili did not elaborate on who could be behind the planned "provocations". However, he made it clear that he was expected by politically motivated racket clubs in Ukraine.

As governor of the Ukrainian Black Sea city of Odessa, the ex-president from Georgia initially tried to implement reforms, but then fell out with Poroshenko. He is aiming for a new political career in Ukraine.

Fight for citizenship

He justified the entry without valid papers by saying that he wanted to fight for his citizenship in court. The Intercity to Kiev was canceled in Przemysl in the late afternoon. The request was issued to the passengers to continue by bus to Ukraine.

Saakashvili is threatening adversity from Georgia. Tbilisi is said to have applied for the extradition of the ex-head of state, who ruled from 2004 to 2013, on charges of abuse of office.

cgn / uh (afp, dpa)