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Zelenskiy returns Ukraine citizenship to ex-Georgia president Saakashvili

Zelenskiy returns Ukraine citizenship to ex-Georgia president Saakashvili
New Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has restored Georgian ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili's citizenship.
By bne IntelliNews May 28, 2019

New Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has restored former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship. It was granted by his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, who then withdrew it after he had a falling out with Saakashvili.

Zelenskiy signed a special decree on May 28 to restore the citizenship. In February 2018, Saakashvili was deported from Ukraine for a violation of migration regulations. The move followed the cancellation of his citizenship by Poroshenko.

In October, Ukraine's State Migration Service refused to grant refugee status to Saakashvili, who is self-exiled from Georgia. The move followed the September crossing of the Polish-Ukrainian border made by the politician despite him having no valid passport. When, in July, Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship, he left him stateless.

Saakashvili is a former head of the Odesa regional administration.

In April, Saakashvili said he was going to return to Ukraine if Poroshenko lost the second round of the presidential election. Saakashvili claimed that as soon as Poroshenko lost power, his order not to let him enter Ukraine would lose force. "This is beyond doubt," Saakashvili told the TV channel Current Time on April 1, adding that he will take advantage of "the legal right" to return to Ukraine.

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