Saakashvili wants to settle in the Netherlands


Saakashvili said that he will not give up on his battle against President Petro Poroshenko's government despite being outside Ukraine, RFE/RL reported. Poroshenko stripped him of his Ukrainian citizenship. In September, the court found Saakashvili guilty of illegally crossing the Ukrainian border.

For Maxim Eristavi, a research fellow at the US-based Atlantic Council think-tank, the arrest and banishment of Saakashvili serve as a "message of warning" to Poroshenko's rivals ahead of the May 2019 presidential poll.

Saakashvili's party, the Movement of New Forces, has held rallies calling for Poroshenko's ousting and accused him of failing to fight corruption.

"Together with our friends we will organize mass protests in Ukraine and will remove the oligarchs from power in a peaceful way".

"It is, like always, good to be here", Saakashvili said to the NOS.

According to Saakashvili, the document allows him to live and work in the EU.

Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian journalist and Member of Parliament, said the move was "the worst example of selective justice", adding that Poroshenko "shot himself in the foot".

Saakashvili is married to Dutch woman Sandra Roelofs and the couple have two sons.

On Tuesday, the European Commission said it continues "to follow developments regarding Saakashvili".

The former Georgian president, who was later a governor in Ukraine, had described his detention in Kiev by masked men and expulsion to Poland as a violation of worldwide laws.

Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister, said on Twitter: "Depriving Saakashvili of his only citizenship was a clear violation of his human rights".

"Saakashvili's career is on a steep downward spiral", said senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, Adrian Karatnycky.