Mikheil Saakashvili

Mikheil Saakashvili made the pledge during a webcast from the Polish capital in mid August 2017. (Facebook.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has repeated a pledge made three weeks ago to return to Ukraine on September 10, despite the risk of being detained and extradited to Georgia where he may face criminal charges and possible imprisonment.

Saakashvili, who served as governor of the strategically important Odessa region in Ukraine’s south west, said that President Petro Poroshenko, his one-time friend turned enemy, even has dispatched the Azov battalion and armored units of the National Guard to the border with Poland in order to bar him from entering the country.

The Azov battalion, which has been involved in the hostilities in Donbass, rebuffed the claim that its units had been dispatched to the border with Poland and demanded an official denouncement from Saakashvili.

Saakashvili, who recently launched a new political party in Ukraine to try to enter the Verkhovna Rada, was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship in late July. His native Georgia, of which he was president from 2004 to 2013, revoked his citizenship in 2015.

In August 17, Saakashvili announced the date and place of his return to Ukraine via border with Poland. He proclaimed that he will cross the border from Poland to Ukraine on September 10, at the Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing. He called on his supporters to facilitate his return and offered a hotline that they can call to get appropriate instructions. He also asked supporters to establish a human corridor to help him cross the border.

Currently Saakashvili resides in Poland and travels across Europe in order to elicit political support from European politicians.