Kuzmin: Tymoshenko owes over $405 million to Russia

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July 21, 2011, 11:46 a.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko owes over $405 million to Russian companies and the Russian Defense Ministry, First Deputy Prosecutor General Renat Kuzmin has said. "Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko had a personal debt to Russian gas companies and the Russian Defense Ministry. The debt was accumulated in the period when Tymoshenko led the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU)," he said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Kuzmin said that the UESU's debt to Russian structures exceeded $405 million.

He said that under former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, the UESU had given guarantees to Russian companies to recover its debt using budget funds if the money were not repaid.

"Why did [former] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko refuse in that period to report her debt to the authorized organizations and the Ukrainian president?" Kuzmin said.

He said that when the UESU failed to repay its debt, it was submitted for payment by the Ukrainian side.

The central investigation department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) launched criminal proceedings into the alleged attempted embezzlement of $405 million by former members of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and officials from the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) and United Energy International Limited.

The former officials "conspired to embezzle, through abuse of office, a total of $405 million from the Ukrainian national budget," the SBU said.

A criminal case has been opened on charges of attempted massive misappropriation and embezzlement by an organized group.

The reason for opening the criminal case were appeals by Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov dated June 23 and June 29, 2011, to the SBU, as well as an appeal by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to Ukraine's government dated June 10, 2011.

Azarov said that the Ukrainian government had no intention of repaying the debt of United Energy Systems of Ukraine to the Russian Defense Ministry.

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