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Ex-President deprived of Georgian citizenship

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, November 2
Georgia’s Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani has stated that Georgia’s Former President Mikheil Saakahsvili, who now serves as the Governor of Odessa in Ukraine, will be deprived of his Georgian citizenship due to his new status as a Ukrainian citizen.

Tsulukiani explained that based on Georgian legislation, one loses Georgian citizenship automatically if they are granted the citizenship of any other country.

“However, until October 18 we did not have official confirmation or relevant documentation that Saakashvili really received Ukrainian citizenship.

“Georgian and Ukrainian media outlets were releasing information concerning Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship, and we have listened some official statements as well. However, Saakashvili himself stated that the process of gaining Ukrainian citizenship had been launched but not that he had been granted it.

“The statement brought some obscurity to the issue, and we only received confirmation from Ukraine’s relevant bodies in October of this year,” Tsulukiani said.

The Minister stated that the Ministry’s Service Development Agency would launch the procedures of depriving Saakashvili of his Georgian citizenship.

Saakashvili left Georgia after his Presidential term expired in 2013, though he subsequently decided to continue his political career in Ukraine.

Initially, he stated that he would not give up his Georgian citizenship in any case.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili on May 30 in 2015 as head of the Odessa region in southwestern Ukraine.

Prior to this, as it was stated and broadcasted by Ukrainian media sources, Poroshenko granted Ukrainian citizenship to Saakashvili on May 29, a day before his appointment as Governor.