Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that the elected President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, return Ukrainian citizenship to Mikheil Saakashvili.
"As for freedoms, it would be better to start not from Russia or Russians, but, let's say, from Georgians, or former Georgians. For example, it would be fair to restore the Ukrainian citizenship to a person who used to be Georgian in the past and now considers himself a Ukrainian, I mean Mikheil Nikolayevich Saakashvili ", quoted Putin TASS news agency.
Putin said that Saakashvili was "illegally deprived of citizenship and deported from the country."
“It would be fair to bring him back and restore his rights, as well as the rights of many other Ukrainian citizens who were forced to leave the country and move abroad in order to escape the current Ukrainian regime’s persecution,” said the Russian president.
Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship was terminated in the summer of 2017 because of the fact that he submitted false information when applying for a passport.
Half a year later, he was detained in one of the restaurants in the center of Kyiv, not far from his party Movement of New Forces (Rukh Novykh Syl) office. From there he was taken to Boryspil International Airport and flown to Poland according to the readmission rules. Currently, Saakashvili lives in the Netherlands.