Former Georgian president arrives in Netherlands after Ukraine deportation

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-14 23:19:08|Editor: yan
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THE HAGUE, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who was deported from Ukraine to Poland on Monday, arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands on Wednesday.

His lawyer Oscar Hammerstein told national broadcaster NOS that Saakashvili was currently in Rotterdam to arrange his settlement in the Netherlands, which was approved by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service. He has already received a temporary residence permit.

Based on the family reunification rule, Saakashvili can relocate to the Netherlands because he has a Dutch wife.

"It is, like always, good to be here," Saakashvili said to the NOS. "I am here in the Netherlands because of what happened in Ukraine. We will see what happens."

The 50-year-old Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 until 2013. After his political career in Georgia, he moved to Ukraine as an ally of current Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. He acquired Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015, losing his Georgian passport as a result, and was appointed governor of the southern Odessa region.

Saakashvili soon became an opponent of Poroshenko, blaming the government for corruption and in July 2017 Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship was revoked. He is now a stateless person.

Saakashvili was detained by Ukrainian border guards on Monday in Kiev and deported to Poland by plane. According to Ukraine, Saakashvili was on Ukrainian territory illegally and therefore had to return to the country from which he had arrived.

The deportation on Monday came shortly after a Kiev court rejected his appeal against extradition to Georgia, where he was convicted for abuse of power during his presidential term, which carries a three-year prison sentence.