Mikheil Saakashvili, who has announced his resignation as Odesa Regional State Administration head
, insists that he remains a Ukrainian citizen and is determined to be engaged in Ukrainian politics.
"President Poroshenko is perfectly aware that I wasn't directly involved in the Georgian elections and couldn't have been so involved even if I wished to, as I am a citizen of Ukraine. Who else but he knows for sure that comparing me to [Ukrainian National Police chief Khatia] Dekanoidze and other 'invited' Georgians is not really correct. Referring to my origins looks very much like the methods used by [Interior Minister Arsen] Avakov and other folks of the kind, while I'd like the president to be above this sort of rhetoric," Saakashvili said on Facebook.
Saakashvili said he had come to Ukraine "at about the same time that my college classmate Petro Poroshenko did, he from Moldova and I from Georgia, and I am definitely grateful to him for granting me Ukrainian citizenship."
"So, everyone should put up with the fact that I am a Ukrainian politician and will win victories or suffer defeats not in Georgia, but in Ukraine," he said.
Saakashvili said he had been willing to resign six months before, but Poroshenko talked him into staying by promising reforms at the time. "This time around, I simply wasn't inclined to believe in promises, and the Georgian elections have nothing to do with that," he added.
Saakashvili described statements by the Ukrainian presidential secretariat
and the Ukrainian government concerning his resignation as a symptom of the Ukrainian decision-making and governance system's malfunction. "It's quite funny to see how the presidential secretariat and the Cabinet of ministers are trying to shift the responsibility for my resignation onto each other, which is yet another sign of an absolute mess in the country."