Ukrainian Opposition Leader Saakashvili Flies to Netherlands

Supporters of Ukrainian opposition figure and Georgian former President Mikheil Saakashvili hold a rally in Kiev

Ukrainian opposition leader in the Netherlands after deportation

"We will have millions of people protesting in the streets of Ukraine, " Saakashvili said.

Oblast Governor and ex-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was deported to Poland on February 12 from Ukraine, said during an interview in Warsaw that he intends to continue organizing rallies in Ukraine and will find a way to personally take part.

Slobodyan said law enforcement officials were obliged to use force while detaining Saakashvili in Kiev as his supporters had attacked them.

Saakashvili served as Georgian president from 2004-2013, was tapped by Poroshenko to head Ukraine's economically important Odessa region in 2015 but quickly fell afoul of his former university classmate over corruption claims and accusations that Poroshenko was blocking much-needed reforms in favour of powerful organised crime interests in Odessa.

In a statement, Saakashvili denounced President Petro Poroshenko.

The president reacted by stripping his former ally of his citizenship in July 2017, turning him into a stateless person, since Saakashvili lost his Georgian citizenship to accept the Ukrainian one.

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Saakashvili was arrested multiple times in 2017 for allegedly forming a criminal group. I will also return to Georgia.

Saakashvili is wanted in Georgia on embezzlement charges that he says are politically motivated.

However, in September he crossed into Ukraine from Poland with the help of his supporters.

"We expect the rule of law as well as the rights of Saakashvili to be upheld", Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.

Kiev's Western allies may also "raise questions about selective justice" in Ukraine, and 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.

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