Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, serving his sentence in a Georgian prison, has urged the European Union to grant candidate status to Georgia “now and without hesitation, as this status will be a transformative force and tool for change.”
In the appeal, published on his Facebook page, Saakashvili, now a Ukrainian official, also called for EU candidate status for Ukraine.
“I am now serving an unfair sentence but both of my homelands — Ukraine and Georgia — have a chance to become candidates for EU membership. This is a century-old dream for both of these christian, freedom-loving countries.”
The former Georgian President also pleaded with the EU not to leave Georgia behind in the “post-Soviet swamp and darkness on the other side of the Iron Curtain.”
He said the EU should take this step even if it will mean his continued captivity and threat to his health, which he says is “nothing compared to the greatest historical challenge and promise to which I have devoted my entire conscious life.”
Saakashvili, currently a Ukrainian citizen, is imprisoned on abuse of power charges – three years for pardoning the former Interior Ministry officials, convicted in the high-profile murder case of Sandro Girgvliani, and six years for organizing an attack on opposition MP Valeri Gelashvili.
He is also charged with misappropriation of public funds, exceeding official authority in the 2007 anti-government protests case, and illegal border crossing. He maintains that all charges are politically motivated.
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