00:42 GMT +326 March 2017
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    Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili gestures as gives a press conference at the headquarters of the opposition in Kiev on December 7, 2013

    Fugitive Georgian Ex-President Offers Kiev Advice on How to Become a Superpower

    © AFP 2017/ VASILY MAXIMOV
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    Ex-Georgian President and former Odessa Region Governor Mikheil Saakashvili has some advice for the EU, saying Brussels owes Kiev a huge debt of gratitude for Ukraine's valiant defense of the continent against Russia. As for Ukraine, Saakashvili predicts that the country will become a "European superpower" in the next 5-15 years.

    Speaking to Ukraine's Radio Vesti on Saturday, Saakashvili, who is wanted on corruption and embezzlement charges in his home country, suggested that the European Union is indebted to Kiev in a big way.

    Commenting on the renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine between Kiev forces and Donetsk militia (which he intimated to be Russian troops), Saakashvili said that "Ukrainian soldiers have once again demonstrated to the world that they have saved Europe from the continent's most aggressive army, and that they continue to rescue her. In other words, the whole of Europe is indebted to Ukrainians."

    Comparing contemporary Ukraine to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia to the Ottoman Empire, the politician suggested that just like "the Habsburgs saved Europe from the Ottomans, and dictated its terms to all of Europe until they were foolishly entangled in WWI," Ukraine was defending the continent, except against the Russian barbarians.

    Therefore, Saakashvili noted, Kiev "now has the right not only to plead and beg Europe 'not to abandon us'. Instead, it has the right to tell them 'You have to do this, this and this', because the European Union and Europe in general would not survive without Ukraine. Europe has no future without Ukraine."

    The politician noted that "by its economic potential, Ukraine is a powerful European country. We must set our minds on this and in 5-15 years, Ukraine can become a leading player in European politics. And then it will not be a question of whether we will be able to travel to Europe, but for Ukrainians to go there proudly, and not as unskilled migrant laborers." Saakashvili emphasized that he believed "Ukraine is destined to be a European superpower."

    Fleeing his home country in 2013, Saakashvili was appointed governor of Ukraine's Odessa region by President Petro Poroshenko in May 2015. Saakashvili resigned a year and a half later, in November 2016, accusing Poroshenko of enabling corruption, and creating his own political party called Wave shortly thereafter. In December, the party began a fundraising campaign to 'make Ukraine into a superpower'.

    In his Radio Vesti interview, recalling his time as Odessa governor, the politician said that "Odessa was very similar to Georgia," but complained that "the main mafia connections are not from Odessa, but from Kiev. All these protection rackets, contraband flows, and shady schemes come from Kiev," he suggested.

    Talking up his connections with Donald Trump, who came to Georgia in 2011 to discuss investment opportunities, Saakashvili said that even then, the two men discussed Trump's potential for the presidency. "When I told others that he should be taken seriously, this was seen as another crazy remark by Saakashvili. But who's crazy now?"

    Related:

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    OSCE Confirms Deaths of 'Several' Civilians in Donbass Shelling
    Trump Vows Cooperation With Moscow, Kiev to Restore Peace on Ukrainian Border
    Donetsk Republic Boosts Security After Murder of Lugansk Militia Chief
    Ukrainian Lawmaker Calls Out Poroshenko for Blowing Pre-Election Peace Promises
    Tags:
    ex-president, radio interview, governor, superpower, criminal charges, corruption, Mikheil Saakashvili, Europe, Ukraine
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    • NATOisEVIL
      Why does people like him walk free? And why does anyone give the man a voice? He is like his comrade Poroshenko evil as the devil him self, and I think Russia should have a "special unit" who could eliminate thugs like this.
    • avatar
      belgradetower
      I wonder how much longer this insane man can escape justice?
    • avatar
      anne00marie
      Kiev, chose the $5 billion cookies and cute lies from the EU. It is not for the EU tax payer to bail out the idiots. Perhaps, Saakashvili should ask his wife and her organ harvesting buddies, to donate their profits back to Ukraine, if he is that concerned.
    • avatar
      michael
      one sick little puppy.
    • avatar
      UAFI
      What mental asylum did he escape from? Or is he by his peers' standards- normal? Is it just me, or do all leaders these days need to pass a lunacy test?
    • avatar
      jyd22
      marcanhalt, shut the fuck up moron
    • avatar
      l.
      another politician who can be a ugly dictator. Europe doesn't owe anything to corrupted Ukraine. A correct regime without corruption can be helped. Not Ukraine.
    • Neochrome
      Don't do drugs.
    • avatar
      mounir.assi
      Who listen to this croock. This guy should be sent to the cimetery of croocks.
      Left only for him to take the flight for Moscou, and we will see what he will have to say.
    • avatar
      Igorin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael,
      More like a 'sick' dog.
    • avatar
      jlamenzo
      This asshole is completely delusional, and dangerous!
    • avatar
      ron
      How did this nut become a fugitive of Georgia? He states that the EU owes Ukraine a debt as they fought back the Russians. WOW, where was I when that happened?
    • avatar
      booty call
      Thanks jyd! Well said!
    • avatar
      grimmin reply tojyd22(Show commentHide comment)
      jyd22, Agree. I notice that whenever this marcantroll gets thumbs down, he deletes his drivel and repost it again. Not much of a self esteem, how old is he 5?
    • avatar
      marcanhalt
      This guy is just a little too ripe. His synopsis of a debt owed, solely based on stemming the flood of Russians invading Europe through the small window of Ukraine, is the stuff of which "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is made of. What demented thinking.
    • avatar
      marcanhaltin reply tojyd22(Show commentHide comment)
      jyd22, jyd22, Thanks for showing your face...
    • NightStalker
      I think the picture of this clown on this article, perfectly matches his statement
    • avatar
      ivanwa88
      Ukraine nazis thought they could hijack the Russian infrastructure and pipelines including oil platforms Billions upon Billions spent by Soviet Union and Russia and these fools thought they can just swoop in and its rags to riches time sure only on gutting peoples savings and stealing the federal reserve.

      This was the biggest grab of the century that back fired bigtime and was fueled by outrageous assumption by Obama administration that feed them delusional inducing drugs made of Hollywood.
    • avatar
      michaelin reply toIgor(Show commentHide comment)
      Igor, make that a rabid sick mongrel. :)
    • avatar
      Igorin reply tomichael(Show commentHide comment)
      michael,
      Very correct.
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