Saakashvili - formerly Georgian, then Ukrainian - has been a stateless person since President Petro Poroshenko, once a supporter, stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship in July. But Saakashvili quit as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Poroshenko of abetting corruption. The politicians had a nice and friendly meeting in one of the town's cafes.
While in Warsaw on Friday, Saakashvili asserted that Ukraine was witnessing a roll-back of reforms and efforts to stem corruption, reiterating that he wanted to get back into politics. Ukraine's former PM Yulia Timoshenko and Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski were also among the attendees. "Right now, it is important for us, as opposition leaders and European democratic powers, to unite and to stop the new corrupt-dictatorship establishment in Ukraine".
Saakashvili denies the allegations and says Georgia's extradition request was made on behalf of "oligarchs" who fear his presence in Ukraine. He gave up his Georgian citizenship when he got the job in Ukraine.
Saakashvili traveled to Lviv after crossing the border, but his whereabouts today are not clear.
He then traveled to the Polish city of Przemysl, where he boarded a train bound for the western Ukraine city of Lviv.
Saakashvili is also wanted in his homeland for alleged abuse of power during a tumultuous nine years as president that saw him fight and lose a brief war with Russian Federation in 2008.
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"I was a full citizen without felony or conviction and now I want to go forward towards Ukrainian people". "It should be very inspiring". "When people brought me to Ukraine on their hands, I left my passport on the bus".
Kiev could leave Saakashvili alone or arrest him and possibly extradite him to Georgia, where the 49-year-old is wanted on criminal charges, which he says are politically motivated.
The former Georgian president broke through Ukrainian guards with the help of hundreds of supporters. After passing the Polish checkpoint, he was confronted by cars blocking the road and a single line of guards in camouflage, carrying batons. "We see what he did in his own country (Georgia) and that's enough for us". Previously, Mikheil Saakashvili had mentioned that he would enter Ukraine via an alternative route. I am a former guard. "They think that we are idiots, this is nonsense". "There should be direct legal accountability", Poroshenko said, according to the Kyiv Post. Several border guards were injured in the incident, Ukrainian media reports. He thanked all of his supporters and announced that it was a great win.
Poroshenko granted Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015, when appointing him as the Governor of Odessa.