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    Mikheil Saakashvili

    Saakashvili Accuses Poroshenko of Aiming to Keep Corrupt Elite in Power

    © AFP 2019 / VASILY MAXIMOV
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    Ex-Georgian president and former governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili said Friday that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was striving to keep his corrupt associates in power.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship was revoked a decree of Poroshenko when it was discovered that the former had violated Ukrainian law by providing incorrect information on his citizenship application. Ukrainian media reported that Saakashvili covered up his criminal record in Georgia.

    "It’s not about me. Right now, Poroshenko basically said he can do anything to keep the influence of his corrupt circle," Saakashvili said in an interview with the US magazine Foreign Policy.

    Saakashvili also accused the Ukrainian president of using Soviet-era practices of forcing dissidents out of the country to revoke their citizenship.

    "If [Poroshenko] is capable of doing such illegal things against figures like me who are widely known in the world, some unknown Ukrainians can easily suffer," Saakashvili added.

    Earlier on Friday, Saakashvili vowed to organize a coup in Kiev.

    In a video address published by Saakashvili online on Wednesday, the politician said Kiev was in collusion with Tbilisi, which had been requesting his extradition from Ukraine since 2015. Under Ukrainan law, Saakashvili may face extradition upon his return to Ukraine.

    After leaving Georgia in 2013, Saakashvili received Ukrainian citizenship two years later and was subsequently appointed as a governor of the Odessa region. The Georgia-born politician, however, quit after one year, citing the Kiev authorities' unwillingness to fight corruption.

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    Petro Poroshenko, Mikheil Saakashvili, Ukraine
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