Mikheil Saakashvili: Avakov and Poroshenko shared the country between themselves

UCMC publishes an abridged translation of an interview with Mikheil Saakashvili conducted by Sevgil Musayeva for Ukrainska Pravda.

Photo: Ukrainska Pravda

On July 27 Poroshenko took away the Ukrainian citizenship from Saakashvili. The next day, Saakashvili gave an exclusive interview to Ukrainska Pravda, sharing his opinion of why the President had taken away his passport, what mistakes he made and his plans for the future. This interview is Saakashvili’s reaction to the news he himself learned from the news.

Reasons for differences of opinion

“I had a two-hour meeting with Poroshenko, it was two hours of threats and blackmail on his part …”

“He told me I should hold back, stop criticizing, stirring up Ukraine, fulfilling Putin’s plan … to which I laughed in his face. I told him that ‘Putin’s plan’ was what he was doing. […] he concluded a strategic alliance with Akhmetov … I believe that this is ‘Putin’s plan’ rather than what I do. “

Eliminating a political opponent

The Georgian politician believes that the main reason for the deprivation of citizenship was Poroshenko’s fear of the opponent’s political potential. “… the last drop for him was that I began to unite people into the ‘headquarters of joint actions’ – and he was really scared,” he said. “Poroshenko was scared because he is fully aware of my potential, of my opportunities,” Saakashvili said. “He really knows what I can organize. Whatever he says – that I failed, and so on – he knows that I will find a way to get organized.”

Lack of legal grounds

Saakashvili also claims that allegations of false information about legal prosecutions against him in Georgia, which became the formal cause of deprivation of citizenship, are groundless. “It is absolutely ridiculous to speak about legal reasons… To answer legal reasons, you need a legal process – but there was none.” “It was necessary to make the process transparent, as is done under any legal framework. Instead, furtively, when I was outside the country, I was deprived of citizenship. “

Arrangements with the president

Poroshenko promised “… to weed out the mafia clans from Odesa,” “[…] promised his full support in this. Everything happened the other way around.”

“Putin was very worried that I was in Odesa. In the summer of 2016, he sent an FSB group, which rented all the apartments around my residence to dig some dirt up on me. But then they were recalled because the Russians received guarantees that I would be fired.”

“After that, Poroshenko told me, ‘You, apparently, are tired of Odesa, let us send you to the Netherlands as an ambassador.’ […] ‘If you do not want to go to the Netherlands, then let us send you to Southeast Asia.’”

Saakashvili’s mistakes

“I regret going to Chernihiv to campaign for Berezenko. It was my mistake. However, I went there mostly to campaign against Korban, as Kolomoisky’s company then was actively attacking me. “

“My biggest mistake was that I initially misunderstood Poroshenko’s motivation. In fact, it is very simple – to make money.”

The situation with the passport

“Firstly, I have a passport with me, secondly … There are many different possibilities, I will not disclose them. I have many friends all around the world.” “My wife is Dutch, so I automatically entitled to Dutch citizenship because we have been married for so many years. My children with Georgian passports also have Dutch passports. That is not a problem.”

Plans for the future

Despite the difficulties, Saakashvili says he is not going to give up his plans. “I am now engaged in the creation of a Joint Action Headquarters. We are preparing to hold meetings in all regions in the autumn, mobilize people and demand fundamental changes from the government (…) We act according to a plan. If my presence on the ground is required, I will be present on the ground. No problem. I repeat, in the time of Yanukovych, I arrived against his bans. I arrived and moved here.”

“I think this incident is not just about me. Now he began the inevitable process of collapsing his power. This process will be accelerated. He will continue brushing people and international community off. At some point, people will just say “that’s enough’.”

“Although a revolution took place in Ukraine, there were no revolutionary changes. The revolution must end with changes and a real substitute for the political class. This will happen in the coming months. The new political class is ready. “