03:36 GMT +321 November 2019
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    Former Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili shows off his identification card as the head of an advisory council in Kiev, in this February 17, 2015 handout photo supplied by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

    Saakashvili 'Disgraceful' for Giving Up Passport - Georgian President

    © REUTERS / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via Reuters
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    Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who renounced his Georgian citizenship by gaining a Ukrainian passport, offended his country of origin, incumbent Georgian leader Giorgi Margvelashvili said Sunday.

    TBILISI (Sputnik) Mikheil Saakashvili was officially appointed Saturday governor of Ukraine's region of Odessa by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, a day after Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship. According to local laws, if Georgian citizen gains passport of another country, he automatically loses Georgian citizenship.

    “My attitude to it is negative. The former president should not have renounced his Georgian citizenship. He had insulted his country and the institution of presidency,” Margvelashvili said.

    He added that citizenship should be more important for a person than career, and any other behavior is "disgraceful."

    Saakashvili served as Georgia's president from 2004 to 2013, his rule criticized as authoritarian. He was barred from running for president again in 2013, and left for the United States.

    In 2014, a Georgian court charged him with abuse of power and misappropriation of public funds. Georgia has repeatedly asked Ukraine to extradite Saakashvili.

    Since his ascent to power last June, Poroshenko has been rallying a team of foreigners around himself to assist him in governing Ukraine.

    In December 2014, he admitted having granted Ukrainian citizenship to US, Georgian and Lithuanian nationals, who were handpicked for Cabinet jobs, including a Georgian minister of health, a Lithuanian economic development and trade minister and a US-born finance chief.


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    citizenship, Giorgi Margvelashvili, Petro Poroshenko, Mikheil Saakashvili, Ukraine, Georgia
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