Saakashvili says his stay in Ukrainian territory is 'legal'
Leader of the New Forces Movement political party, ex-head of Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili has said that he is currently located in the territory of Ukraine on a legal basis.
"This morning, as it should be according to the law, my lawyer came to the Migration Service of Ukraine and brought my application [...] That is, I am now staying absolutely legally in the Ukrainian territory. According to the current legislation, I applied for protection to the Ukrainian state. And the Ukrainian state should now solve at the court my request for protection from the Ukrainian state," he said at a press conference for the media in Lviv on Monday.
The politician said he wanted to perform all necessary procedures when crossing the border on Sunday.
"They did not let me. I performed them this morning. For that reason, I don't understand the purpose of this hysteria. If I am a stateless person, I am a stateless person in Ukraine [...] I am seeking protection in court, in the Migration Service," he said.
"I crossed the Polish border on a legal Ukrainian document, the Poles stamped it, I approached the Ukrainians as the law envisions, I gave them my passport so that they could approve or deny, and they said, 'We will not take your passport'," Saakashvili said.
He also said he had suggested that Ukrainian State Border Guard officials take his application asking to recognize him as a person in need of additional protection.
"When people carried me into Ukraine, without asking me, I left my passport in the bus. The police came, they searched the bus and stole my passport. They now have my passport," Saakashvili said.
The passport disappeared after special services searched the bus. He suggested that the media "draw their own conclusions from that."
Saakashvili is accompanied by his wife and son, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported.