VILNIUS – Lithuania’s member of the European Parliament Petras Austrevicius on Friday proposed to consider the possibility to provide former Georgian president and ex-Governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region Mikheil Saakashvili with the citizenship of the Baltic country
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s State Migration Service announced that country’s President Petro Poroshenko had issued a decree rescinding Saakashvili’s citizenship for allegedly providing false information on his citizenship registration form in 2015.
In an interview with FRANCE 24 on Thursday, Saakashvili vowed to fight the decision, which he said followed a deal between Ukrainian President Poroshenko and Bidzina Ivanishvili, a Georgian businessman who is a major stakeholder in the Russian oil giant company, Gazprom.
“Poroshenko this time went, met Bidzina Ivanishvili in Georgia and they made a deal against me,” said Saakashvili. “It’s an unholy union of two oligarchs against me, who has no money. Now I have no passport, but they’re still scared of me.”
“Saakashvili could be given Lithuania’s residence permit. The former Georgian leader could create here an organization focusing on political analysis, consultations and the Lithuanian citizenship would allow him to work in Europe,” Austrevicius told the Lietuvos zinios news outlet.
The official added that provision of Lithuania’s citizenship could not be ruled out despite certain legal difficulties.
In November 2013, Saakashvili left Georgia after Giorgi Margvelashvili became the country’s president. Saakashvili lost his Georgian citizenship in 2015 after becoming a Ukrainian national. The latest decision to strip him of his Ukrainian nationality leaves the former Georgian statesman stateless.