Proceedings on Termination of the Georgian Citizenship of the former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili

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Pursuant to Article 12(2) of the Constitution of Georgia, a citizen of Georgia shall not concurrently be a citizen of another State.

Under Article 21(g) of the organic Law on the Citizenship of Georgia, acquiring citizenship of another State by a Georgian citizen serves as a ground for termination of her/his Georgian citizenship.

If the facts confirming such information are made available, the Citizenship and Migration Service of the LEPL “Public Service Development Agency” should commence legal proceedings on termination of the Georgian citizenship and submits the relevant report to the President of Georgia for a final decision on the matter (see Article 41(2) of the Presidential Decree N237).

On May 30, 2015, the information that former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili obtained Ukrainian citizenship spread through the Georgian media.

Also the Ordinance on conferring Ukrainian citizenship to Mikheil Saakashvili was published on the official website of the President of Ukraine. As of October 30, 2015, this Ordinance is still displayed at the same webaddress.

However, afterwards different information was disseminated in the media whereby Mikheil Saakashvili was quoted on July 24, 2015 as saying that the conferral of the Ukraininian citizenship on him was delayed. In his own words: “I have done all the paperwork necessary to acquire Ukrainian citizenship but the process seems to take longer time”.

This statement has raised doubts whether the decision on granting Mikheil Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship was real and whether it was still in force.

Georgia is a rule of law State. The political force that came to power on October 1, 2012, pursues the objective to have human rights ensured and equality of all before the law safeguarded.

It is a constitutional obligation of the Government of Georgia not to take steps that may turn a Georgian citizen into a stateless person i.e. apatrid so that she/he no longer can avail of the protection of any state (see, Article 13 of the Constitution of Georgia). These steps would also contravene with the international obligations of Georgian state undertaken under the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.

Accordingly, to dipell all doubts that the proceeding on termination Mikheil Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship would not violate the Constitution of Georgia, other relevant laws and international legal obligations and whereas this citizen of Georgia is not left stateless, the following steps were taken:

On September 22, 2015, the Citizenship and Migration Service of the LEPL “State Service Development Agency” communicated a request to the State Migration Service of Ukraine on the citizenship of Mikheil Saakashvili.

On October 19, 2015, upon receiving no response the Deputy Minister of Justice of Georgia contacted the Embassy of Georgia to Ukraine and requested a representation to be made before the State Migration Service of Ukraine in order to have an official response secured.

On October 23, 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia delivered a diplomatic Note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine dated October 22, 2015, to the LEPL “State Service Development Agency” according to which “Mikheil Saakashvili was granted Ukrainian citizenship on May 29, 2015, pursuant to the Ordinance of the President of Ukraine N301/2015 that continues to be in force”.

Today, on October 30, this year, based on the Note which is an official document of the Ukrainian State and in full compliance with the internal legislation and international obligations of Georgia, the LEPL “State Service Development Agency” of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia initiates hereby the legal proceeding on termination of the Georgian citizenship of Mikheil Saakashvili.

The interested person will be informed about the commencement of the proceeding and the resolution of the LEPL “State Service Development Agency” will be submitted to the President of Georgia for his final decision pursuant to Article 24(2) of the organic Law on the Citizenship of Georgia.

Official Note from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine