Mikheil Saakashvili, the governor of the Ukrainian region of Odessa, said Monday he had made a decision to resign.

 

Saakashvili

 

“In the current situation, I made a decision to resign and begin a new phase of struggle,” he told a press conference.

 

Saakashvili, a fugitive from prosecution in his homeland Georgia, was granted Ukrainian citizenship and appointed the governor of Odesa Region last year. He served as Georgia’s president between 2004 and 2013.

 

He left for the Unites States just days before his presidential term expired, and has been living outside Georgia ever since. In spring 2014, Georgia accused Saakashvili of embezzling immense sums from the state budget, and started an investigation into the case. The former president has denied the charges.