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12 September 2017, 12:36 | Conrad Doyle
Former Georgian President Breaks Through Ukrainian Checkpoint After He Was Refused Entry by Train
Ukrainian police restrain supporters of former Georgian presidentMikhail Saakashvili (poster on the ground) at the Ukraine-Poland border who see the charismatic leader as someone who could fight corruption.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has described as a crime the illegal crossing of the state border by former Head of Odesa Regional Administration Mikheil Saakashvili and a group of MPs.
In the evening, Saakashvili and others arrived in Lviv, western Ukraine's largest city.
Saakashvili has accused the Ukrainian authorities of using pressure tactics to deter him from returning to Kiev, where he has launched a campaign to unseat Poroshenko.
Saakashvilisaid the decision was politically motivated. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said 17 police and border guards were injured in the confrontation. But while perhaps not a threat as a direct rival, Saakashvili could prove to be an effective weapon against Poroshenko for powerful opposition figures like Yulia Tymoshenko, who was with him at the border on Sunday.
Saakashvili, 49, who served as Georgian president from 2008 to 2013, was granted Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and was appointed as the governor of Ukraine's southern Odessa region.
Finally, Saakashvili's supporters broke through a line of guards, the Reuters news agency reported, citing a Ukrainian border service spokesman's Facebookpost.
"I have a clear plan: to end theft from the economy; to end the power of the oligarchy; to end misuse of power", Mr Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili, a disgraced politician, boarded an Intercity train in Poland to travel to Ukraine's Lvov, but the train was delayed "because of a passenger without a right to enter the territory of Ukraine".
"This is a question of the national security of the state".
Before crossing the border, Saakashvili has explained stis difficulty by the fact that Kiev "panic", saying that he wanted "not to overthrow the president Porochenko" objective just to defend sti rights.
Saakashvili denies the allegations and says Georgia's extradition request was made on behalf of "oligarchs" who fear his presence in Ukraine.
Moscow is not monitoring the border crossings of Saakashvili, Peskov said."The Kremlin has many very serious issues on the agenda, which should be monitored, and we are dealing with this", Peskov told reporters.
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