Georgia's stateless former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, travelled to Poland to attend a commemoration of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation, according to multiple Polish and Ukrainian media reports. Saakashvili, who lost his Georgian citizenship in 2015 after being granted Ukrainian citizenship, had his Ukrainian passport revoked last week by the host country's immigration service.
Known as a reformist of strong convictions and outspoken manners, Saakashvili left his native Georgia for Ukraine after serving two terms as the country's president. During his tenure, Georgia made progress towards becoming a Western-style democracy, but was also invaded by Russia in 2008 and suffered under Russian sanctions.
In Ukraine, Saakashvili ended up turning former university friend and president Petro Poroshenko into a foe after accusing his administration of hampering his efforts to fight corruption while he served as governor of the Odessa region. After quitting his position as Odessa governor last November, Saakashvili formed a new political movement.
Saakashvili was caught by surprise by the decision to have his passport revoked last week, during a family visit to New York. Having become a stateless person, he was nevertheless able to travel to Poland to join the commemoration in Warsaw.
According to Georgia Today, the Georgian prosecutor general addressed an inquiry to the Polish government about Saakashvili's presence in the country, soliciting his extradition to face charges of abuse of power and corruption in Georgia.
In an interview with Voice of America's Georgian service from Poland, Saakashvili said that he could have obtained residency in the US and even the Netherlands, where his estranged wife is from, but that he intends to return to Ukraine and to fight the decision to revoke his citizenship at the European Court of Human Rights.