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Saakashvili flies to Netherlands after expulsion from Ukraine to Poland

14 February 2018

The Dutch justice ministry said a year ago that it would be willing to help Saakashvili and allow him to stay in the country on the basis of family reunification.

"This person was on Ukrainian territory illegally and therefore, in compliance with all legal procedures, he was returned to the country from where he arrived", Ukrainian border service spokesman Oleh Slobodyan said. Such claims have emerged after Saakashvili said in an interview with Bild newspaper, published on Tuesday, that Ukraine would be destroyed unless the European Union, particularly Merkel, takes action in this situation.

He has already been successively stripped of both his Georgian and Ukrainian nationalities, rendering him stateless.

Saakashvili also promised his team and he would wring Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko's head off and would put him in jail.

Hammerstein added that his client's stay in the Netherlands "has been arranged and approved" by the Dutch authorities.

In September, Saakashvili defied the Ukrainian authorities and forced his way back into the conflict-riven country across the border from Poland with the help of supporters.

"It is, like always, good to be here", Saakashvili said to the NOS.

Saakashvili said he planned to "go on a tour of Europe" to raise support for his campaign to topple Poroshenko and his government in Kyiv.

On Tuesday, Saakashvili gave a press conference in Warsaw and said he had been blindfolded and rushed first by van, then by helicopter to Kiev global airport.

The arrest could have a "negative impact" on Poroshenko's image overseas, said Sergiy Solodkyi, deputy director of the Kiev-based New Europe think-tank.

Saakashvili's wife, Sandra Elisabeth Roelofs-Saakashvili, was born in the Netherlands and has Dutch citizenship.

Saakashvili flies to Netherlands after expulsion from Ukraine to Poland